County to start spreading unclaimed ashes of indigents

2 years 8 months 4 weeks ago Sunday, May 22 2016 May 22, 2016 Sunday, May 22, 2016 1:51:59 PM CDT May 22, 2016 in News
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri medical examiner plans to start spreading the ashes of indigent residents at a local cemetery when nobody is willing or able to take responsibility for them.

Greene County commissioners approved a policy last week that will help the county keep up with rising cremation prices and better track what happens to the deceased.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the county has kept remains in the medical examiner's office since 2015. Before that, unclaimed ashes were kept at funeral homes or crematories around the city.

The policy change also removed a requirement for people to pay back funeral homes for cremation services if they want to claim indigent remains. Greene County Medical Examiner Tom Van De Berg says companies can charge families $700 and $1,500 for a basic cremation.

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