Unclaimed Dead Get A Final Rest At Historic Philadelphia Cemetery

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The unclaimed remains of 1,500 people are being  buried at a Philadelphia cemetery in the coming weeks.

The cremated remains of hundreds of individuals that were never claimed by a family member — including many elderly poor and homeless — will be laid to rest at Laurel Hill Cemetery, overlooking the Schuylkill River.

Bill Doran is the superintendent of the cemetery:

“Practically all of them have names and ages and dates of death.”

He says about 500 cremated remains have been relocated so far, and says a small, collective headstone will be placed at the site when the project is completed.

The city stopped burying bodies in 1983 to save money, instead cremating the remains of the unclaimed.

The ashes are kept on shelves at the medical examiner’s office for ten years in case someone should inquire about one of the decedents.

Doran says the cemetery will honor the dead on Memorial Day, to give them the sendoff they never had.

The burial project will cost the Department of Health approximately $20,000.

  • Fatima

    The city is taking care of criminals (in jail) using our tax dollars. This is one cause I deem essential due to the nature of the unclaimed cadavers. These poor souls will finally be laid to rest.

  • kjm

    how nice to do this for those unfortunate souls…

  • tuomug

    how much did the city pay for this.

    • Holly

      Who cares how much the city paid for this – these “were” actual human beings !! Every person deserves a final resting place…

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