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L.A. County to bury homeless, poor unclaimed by family members

December 6, 2011 |  2:37 pm

Los Angeles County officials attend a ceremony paying last respects to unclaimed decedents at the county's cemetary in 2007. Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles TimesMore than 1,000 bodies unclaimed by family members in Los Angeles County were to be buried in a mass grave Wednesday.

The county performs the burial service every year in December. "These are individuals that, for one reason or another, have no one but the county to provide them with a respectful and dignified burial," Supervisor Don Knabe said in a statement.

"Some are homeless. Many are poor. Some have no families to grieve for them. Regardless of what their status in life was, each one of their lives mattered," Knabe said.

According to the county coroner's office, bodies are kept in storage for two to three years before they are sent to the common grave. This year, 1,639 individuals will be buried.

The ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery on 3301 East 1st St. in Boyle Heights.

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-- Rong-Gong Lin II at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration

Photo: Los Angeles County officials attend a ceremony paying last respects to unclaimed decedents at the county's cemetery in 2007. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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