Coroner holds memorial service to remember the forgotten

A memorial was held for 65 people whose remains have gone unclaimed.

BOISE - Remembering the forgotten -- that's the purpose of a service organized by the Ada County Coroner's Office.

"We're here today as a way of saying that every life matters, and those people matter to us."

The second annual Memorial for the Forgotten took place Friday morning at Terrace Lawn Memorial Gardens - outside the Cloverdale Funeral Home.

After Ada County Coroner Dotti Owens and Ada County Commissioner Dave Case laid a wreath - they read the names of 65 people whose remains have been interred over the past two years, after going unclaimed or abandoned.

Owens says that before she took office, about 60 sets of remains returned to the coroner's office since 1996 were in a cabinet, rather than a proper resting place.

"We have individuals from all various aspects of life,” said Owens. “Some are homeless, some are in jail, some are individuals who had residence, but then there was no existing family."

"Everyone has someone, and eventually they will come looking for them. Be it a new building, be it a new coroner, we've got to make sure that they're taken care of."

The coroner's office retains remains for a full 12 months in case the deceased's family decides to come forward.

Owens says that even after they are interred at the cemetery, the remains can be released to verified relatives who claim them.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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