County buries unclaimed remains of 1,656 people

county-cemetery-lao.jpgWednesday was the day of the annual interring in Boyle Heights of cremated human remains that were never picked up from the coroner by family members. A couple of dozen people attended a brief ceremony, among them county Supervisor Don Knabe. "You know, all we’re attempting to do is each year is to give these folks the dignity of a decent burial and treat them as a human being,” Knabe said.

The remains buried Wednesday were mostly of people who died in the county in 2009. Some could not be identified; others were indigent or simply went unclaimed. Rev. Chris Ponnet, a chaplain at County-USC Medical Center, led the service for the fifth year. Coverage: LA Times, KPCC, SGV Tribune

Here is some background on the county "crematorium cemetary," as the sign labels it, from the Boyle Heights History Blog, and a 2010 rumination on the tradition by author D.J. Waldie for KCET. The facility is a former potter's field at the corner of Evergreen Cemetery closest to 1st and Lorena streets.

Photo: LA Observed


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