DOUGLAS COUNTY, ga. - The unclaimed ashes of 45 people in Douglas County now have a new resting place.
The unclaimed cremated remains were interred in mausoleum space 129 and 130 at Sunrise Memorial Gardens Friday morning.
"That's a lot of souls that are...unaccounted for," said Roseanne Kanger with Sunrise Memorial Gardens.
Douglas County Coroner Renee Godwin who recently elected said she 'inherited' the remains when she took office.
"The ones I had went back to 1985 and no one had claimed them? No one had claimed them," said Godwin.
Friday afternoon she was looking at many pictures of the Friday morning memorial to the unclaimed.
Ms. Godwin says there were 29 unclaimed cremations in her office alone, several in a cabinet, in plastic bins.
The others she said came from various funeral homes. Most are identified but for whatever reason unclaimed.
"I don't know if they could have forgotten about them but some are homeless but I felt like they needed a resting place," said Godwin.
On a daily basis friends and relatives can come visit with their loved ones at a final resting place like Sunrise Memorial Gardens, which could still be possible for family of the 45 souls.
"If you have any family in Douglas County that was cremated and you don't have my cremains contact my office," said Godwin.
The previous Coroner she says tried but could not find relatives of the unclaimed remains.
They are now interred here but symbolically released with 45 balloons.
"They went into the cloud and they didn't burst. It was pretty. They'd gone to heaven," said Godwin.
Kanger with Sunrise Memorial Gardens says a memorial service for the unclaimed will be now held annually.
She said there will be a special plaque on the crypt followed by a special bench.
"We're going to get a memorial bench have all the names and dates they were placed on," said Kanger.
Coroner Godwin said she has the list of the names of most of the dead who have been cremated but did not want to release it publicly.
Anyone who may have connections to the cremains is asked to contact the Douglas County Coroner's Office.
If the connection is established, Godwin said the remains would be released to the family.
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