Kane Coroner Set To Inter Cremated Remains Of 'Unclaimed' People

Bernie Tafoya
April 24, 2019 - 6:02 pm

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Kane County Coroner says the cremated remains of more than a dozen people have gone unclaimed over the past couple of year. Next month, they’ll be entombed in a mausoleum.

The ceremony May 31 will be the fourth time since 2013 Coroner Rob Russell has had unclaimed cremains put in a tomb at St. Charles Township North Cemetery. The remains of 16 people will be interred this time.

"It’s actually something simple the office can do but it has a great impact," he says.

Russell said there’s room in the mausoleum for the cremains of several hundred people. 

He hopes all those interred there would all be claimed, even if it takes generations.  Russell said someone not yet born may eventually track down a distant relative to the tomb of the unclaimed. 

“If any family relatives are wondering what ever happened to Aunt Sally, they can just go on FindAGrave.com and it goes right back to that crypt, to that tomb,” Russell said.

He estimated 15 percent of unclaimed remains are eventually claimed by family. In one case, in 2013, a person from Australia realized one of her aunts had been among those unclaimed in Kane County.

Russell said a volunteer has been cataloging those who have been interred in the mausoleum. He said the remains of about 100 people are entombed there now.

Cremains are left in the coroner’s possession, either because no family can be found or no family member wants that person’s remains.