Kane County Coroner Rob Russell announced Tuesday (April 23, 2019) that 16 unclaimed cremains will be added next month to the St. Charles Township Cemetery North mausoleum.
A non-denominational service and entombment is planned for 10 a.m. Friday, May 31. The address of the cemetery is 1200 N. 5th Ave., St. Charles.
In 2012, Russell facilitated the entombment of 41 unclaimed remains left in a storage room in his office. Soon after highlighting the problem, St. Charles Township Supervisor John Arthur Anderson presented the solution: an empty, unused tomb that had already been paid for.
Originally, 47 cremains were discovered in the Kane County Coroner’s Office storage unit, but six were able to be reunited with families. The Coroner’s Office has performed two additional entombments, one in 2015 and another in 2017. The May 31 entombment will be the fourth ceremony in the past six years.
The original discovery of the cremains prompted Russell to enlist the help of the media in hopes of uniting any of the unclaimed cremains with their next-of-kin. When the cremains story broke, it garnered international media attention.
People from near and far came forward, inquiring about the cremains. One father was reunited with the cremains of his 2-month-old child, 26 years after his child’s sudden death. Another set of cremains was shipped halfway around the world, to be reunited with next-of-kin in Australia.
Russell said indigent burials remains and issue.
“With the state hurting financially, we have to find alternatives to take care of those who are indigent,” he said. “Too many times, family members wind up walking away from the responsibility for burial. With this township partnership, some of that cost has been mitigated.”
Russell said he hopes additional Kane County townships with cemeteries will partner with the Coroner’s Office in the future.
He said his office is releasing the names of the deceased in hopes that someone will recognize and claim the remains.
Unclaimed Cremains Set For Entombment 2019
For more information, contact Kane County Coroner Russell at 630-232-3535.
SOURCE: Kane County Coroner’s Office news release