Bodies of 52 Vets Accumulate at Morgue; L.A. County Can’t Explain Why

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Over the last 15 months, 52 unclaimed bodies of U.S. military veterans accumulated at the Los Angeles County morgue because nobody arranged transportation to Riverside National Cemetery for burial.


Riverside National Cemetery, which accepts the unclaimed bodies of U.S. military veterans, has seen fewer from the Los Angeles County morgue because of transportation issues. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

As of Thursday, the county could not explain why. “All the people who touched this process are working together to figure out how this occurred,” said county spokesman David Sommers.

The problem began in 2013, after Rose Hills Mortuaries in Alhambra, which transported the bodies of homeless veterans under a charity program, started turning down some bodies that it said did not meet eligibility requirements