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Ada County coroner secures crypt for ‘forgotten’ cremains

These boxes of unclaimed cremated remains in Twin Falls County are similar to the ones Ada County will honor Monday.
These boxes of unclaimed cremated remains in Twin Falls County are similar to the ones Ada County will honor Monday. Twin Falls Times-News

The Ada County Coroner’s Office finally has a place for unclaimed or abandoned cremated remains to rest.

Nearly 60 boxes of such cremains have been kept for years in a closet inside the coroner’s office. Coroner Dotti Owens and her staff talked to the Statesman last fall about their hope to find a crypt to hold the cremains and give them some dignity.

Now, Cloverdale Funeral Home has donated such a crypt. Monday, county and funeral home staff will inter the cremains during a “Memorial for the Forgotten” at 11 a.m. at Terrace Lawn Memorial Gardens, 1200 N. Cloverdale Road in Boise. The service will take place at the crypt on the south side of the cemetery.

The memorial will honor 58 unclaimed cremains that have been held at the coroner’s office, one since 1996. For some, the crypt may only be a temporary resting place as county staffers continue their search for family members who can claim them.

“It’s comes down to dignity,” said Jaimie Barker, investigator for the Ada County Coroner’s Office. “As a society, it’s our responsibility to care about the dead. Yes, some might have been homeless or in the Ada County Jail, but that’s not our concern. We’re focused on giving them a proper resting place.”

The service on Monday is open to the public.

Robert Boetticher, managing partner of the funeral home, will lead the memorial. Speakers will include Barker, Chief Deputy Coroner Val Brisbin and Pastor Bill Roscoe of Boise Rescue Mission. The Ada County Sheriff’s Office honor guard and command staff will also attend.

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