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Marion County holds burial ceremony to honor, lay to rest unclaimed remains of 48 people

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Posted at 4:07 PM, Jun 12, 2024

MARION COUNTY — Honoring the lives of those who have died, even if their loved ones are not there to say goodbye was the goal of an event held by the Marion County Coroner’s Office and He Knows Your Name Ministries.

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They held a ceremony on Wednesday to bury 48 people who died over the last year, but whose bodies stayed at funeral homes and the morgue, waiting for someone to claim them.

“No one will be forgotten,” He Knows Your Name Founder Linda Znachko said. “Their names are now written in stone, and I believe it really etches their names in the Earth forever.”

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Staff from the Marion County Coroner’s Office and members of the community attended the ceremony Wednesday, where the people were laid to rest at Flanner and Buchanan Floral Park Cemetery.

Officials say the coroner’s office has been overwhelmed by unclaimed remains for the past few years. In 2022, the groups planned a memorial service for 173 unclaimed people.

WATCH | Marion County works with group to lay unclaimed people to rest

Marion County works with group to lay unclaimed people to rest

“We want to honor and respect those who have gone unclaimed in our community. We want to give them dignity and respect in death,” Alfie McGinty, Marion County Coroner, said.

Znachko says she hopes more places across not only the Hoosier state but the whole country will take part in ceremonies for the unclaimed.

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“There is no judgment in this unclaiming. It’s a way to tell people that they are claimed now. They are claimed by a community of people who believe in their worth and value,” Znachko said.

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For a list of unclaimed remains in Marion County, click here. For more information on He Knows Your Name, click here.