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More than 1,600 unidentified, unclaimed remains buried in Boyle Heights

December 5, 2012 |  5:30 am

Albert Gaskin, Cemetery caretaker at the Los Angeles County Cemetery and Crematory in Boyle Heights, places flowers on the gravesite for the cremated bodies of 1,639 people who were homeless, indigent or without family in 2011. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

The ashes of more than 1,600 people who were never identified or whose bodies were never claimed by family members in Los Angeles County were buried in a single grave in Boyle Heights on Tuesday. 

The county will perform a memorial service for the people — including the homeless and those whose families could not afford to bury or cremate their bodies — Wednesday morning, said Rosa Saca, a spokeswoman for County-USC Medical Center. 

The remains of the dead are kept in storage for two to three years before being sent to the common grave. Those buried this week were cremated in 2009, Saca said. 

The county performs the interfaith burial service every December. The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery at 3301 East 1st St. in Boyle Heights. 

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— Hailey Branson-Potts

twitter.com/haileybranson

Photo: Albert Gaskin, cemetery caretaker at the Los Angeles County Cemetery and Crematory in Boyle Heights, places flowers on the gravesite for the cremated bodies of 1,639 people who were homeless, indigent or without family in 2011. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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