Cook County Lays Indigent, Unborn To Rest

Bob Roberts
November 28, 2018 - 4:52 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Bob Roberts

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It’s an important, but little-discussed act performed quarterly by Cook County: the burying of the cremated remains of the indigent, unidentified and unborn.

The latest commitment ceremony was Wednesday at Mt. Olivet Cemetery on Chicago’s South Side.

More than 100 of those buried were indigent, meaning they left behind too little money for cremation and burial, or their families could not afford the cost.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Ponny Arunkamar said efforts to identify four individuals failed, despite using everything from dental records and body markings to DNA.

Another 60 were unborn. County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said all were someone’s son or daughter and said all deserve a dignified burial.

In any given year, Mt. Olivet becomes the final resting place for the cremains of 500 to 600 indigent Cook County residents. The county works in conjunction with the Catholic Archdiocese, which made the space available at Mt. Olivet for the burials.