County Buries 1,656 Unclaimed Bodies in Mass Grave

The remains of the mostly homeless or poor individuals were buried Wednesday morning.

The Board of Supervisors this week observed a moment of silence for 1,656 people buried Wedesday in a mass grave in the county cemetery.

"These are individuals that, for one reason or another, have no one but the county to provide them with a respectful and dignified burial," said Supervisor Don Knabe. "Some are homeless. Many are poor. Some have no families to grieve for them. But regardless of what their status in life was, each one of their lives mattered. It matters to us.''

The bodies of those to be buried were never claimed by family or friends. Their final resting place will be at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery in Boyle Heights.

The burial is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Sam Burgess December 06, 2012 at 01:21 AM
This County Cemetery was originally much larger. Many years ago the County sold a large portion of the land to the private cemetery next door and began cremating the unknown and forgotten and, with a diginified ceremony, burying them in mass graves. The only marker being the year of internment. The county waits about two years before cremation in the hopes a relative will claim the deceased. Prior to the selling of the land the indigent were given their own plot and, when know, a named marker. In the cemetery chapel you can view several books (dating back to the 1880's) containing the names of the many people who are buried there and the location of their grave. Unfortunately, there were a number of years where the county allowed the cemetery to go into disarray. Today, the old grave section markers are gone and but a few of the original gravestones remain. It is thus impossible to ascertain the exact location where most of the individuals named in the old books are buried. My great grandmother, Maria del Carman Sanchez Arvizu, a Yaqui native of Sonora, Mexico is buried there. I know not where. (She is listed in the 1st book under the name of her 2nd husband, Thomas Gaige).
Dana Caffrey December 06, 2012 at 01:30 PM
This is really sad. It's also heartbreaking! Imagine, 1000+ bodies unclaimed. But at least, it was given last respect bu burrying them. SunCityGranite.com
J McNally December 06, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I agree, Dana. And the phrase "quietly heartbreaking'' @David V is perfectly fitting.
Gramps Pupany December 06, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Isn't this JUST A BIT STRANGE??? But here's a real mystery folks...read on. The GOP still wants us poor and middle class folks (making less than $250,000/year) to pay the income taxes of those making $250,001 and more. When did we ever vote to get SCREWED into paying the taxes of millionaires??? When you go out to dinner, do you pay half the dinner bill of the guy sitting next to you just because he's rich??? Hell no! But that's what Boehner and McConnell want us "poor suckers" to do...pay half the taxes of their millionaire friends. Oh, you say you don't know who their rich friends are??? Just look at who gave them the most money in the last election. That's who the GOP represents, my friends...not the working man. Screwed once, shame on me! Not next time. I'll pay my way...you pay yours. I can't afford to vote for one of these "generous" Republicans again. How 'bout you?
Sam Burgess December 07, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Gramps, What a cold-hearted person you are. Here we have a report on the diginified and compassionatre burial of the most unfortunate in our society and you, with your foul mouth, turn this blog into a personal political rant.


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