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Annual Memorial Service For LA County's Unclaimed Dead To Be Livestreamed

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The passing of 1,547 people whose remains went unclaimed by relatives or loved ones will be marked Thursday with a ceremony that will be livestreamed on Facebook.

Los Angeles County holds an annual interfaith memorial ceremony for the unclaimed dead, whose remains are held for three years before they are cremated and buried. In past years, such memorial services – which have been held in LA County since 1896 – have been attended by dozens of mourners.

The Department of Decedent Affairs said it deeply regrets that a public ceremony was not possible this year due to the ongoing pandemic, which is surging across the state. Instead, they decided to proceed with a virtual remembrance at 9:30 a.m.

Local faith leaders will join in the interfaith remembrance, which will include the Lord's Prayer in several languages and represent multiple religions. The ceremony will be livestreamed on Facebook.

The unclaimed dead who will be remembered in this year's ceremony died in 2017. Their ashes have already been placed in a single mass grave at the Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery in Boyle Heights in advance of the ceremony and formal burial service.

Family members searching for deceased loved ones can call the county Office of Decedent Affairs/Morgue at (323) 409-7161 or the Medical Examiner's Office, (323) 343-0512. The cost of cremation may be waived for families facing financial hardship.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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