Unclaimed cremains found in abandoned funeral home - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Unclaimed cremains found in abandoned funeral home

(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

The cremated remains of more than one dozen people were left behind inside a now abandoned funeral home.

Local officials are on a mission to get them back to their loved ones.

"Pretty emotional. It really is," said Terry Collier, final grade inspector for the city of Saginaw.

The cremated remains of 13 people were never claimed and abandoned inside a shuttered funeral home in Saginaw.

"They were in a plastic bag, the ashes were. And they're sealed with the name and date of the cremation and death," Collier said.

He said the cremains were on a shelf in the garage of Elsie Black Funeral Home. The business closed about 10 years ago after the owner died.

The remains were only discovered last month when the city went inside to survey the building for demolition.

"I got a hold of the funeral director from Snow Funeral Home to walk through it with me. And sure enough there was 13 cremated remains left at the site," Collier said.

Some of the cremains date back to the 1980s.

One of the 13 has been returned to their family.

Collier said it was quite the experience.

"Holy smokes. It was right in our council chamber. It was very emotional. It was a young lady and it was her dad. And the gentleman's wife. They had not way of knowing how to find those ashes whatsoever. So it was very, very emotional," Collier said.

If the remaining ashes end up going unclaimed, Collier said the city will do right by the deceased.

"A coroner's office every once in awhile will get a grant from the state to actually have multiple cremains, even from other funeral homes, that are unclaimed. They'll put multiple ones in one grave," Collier said.

Collier said the remains of Gwendolynn Wicker will be returned on Friday to next of kin.

He also said while this does sound a bit strange, it's really not that unusual. Many funeral homes have ashes left behind from family members who never picked them up.

If you believe the ashes may belong to a loved one, contact the Saginaw County Sheriff's Office.

The following is a list of names of those unclaimed: 

  • Doris D. Gill
    • Died Oct. 7, 2006
  • James McConnell
    • Died March 4, 1994
  • Ternixa Alexander Plegm
    • Died Feb. 11, 1998
  • Jacquline C. Jones
    • Died June 13, 1999
  • C.J. Smith
    • No date of death
  • Sallie Helford
    • No date of death
  • Malvin Bass
    • No date of death
  • Gwendolyn Wicker
    • Died Dec. 14, 1999
  • Cornelius Henderson
    • Died Dec. 14, 1999
  • Edward McClendon
    • Died Aug. 7, 2006
  • Floree Tote
    • Died May 21, 2006
  • Unidentified
    • Died Dec. 10, 1983
  • Michael D. Hanserd (Claimed)
    • Died Jan. 4, 2008 

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • Investors pulling out of big banks in search of better interest rates

    Investors pulling out of big banks in search of better interest rates

    Friday, July 20 2018 5:48 PM EDT2018-07-20 21:48:49 GMT
    (Source: RNN)(Source: RNN)
    (Source: RNN)(Source: RNN)

    As the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, savers should be seeing a boost in their interest earned, but you may notice you're still only making pennies a month on your savings account. 

    More >>

    As the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, savers should be seeing a boost in their interest earned, but you may notice you're still only making pennies a month on your savings account. 

    More >>
  • Judge strikes down Toledo lead-safe rental law

    Judge strikes down Toledo lead-safe rental law

    Friday, July 20 2018 5:41 PM EDT2018-07-20 21:41:03 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    A controversial lead-safe rental law was declared unconstitutional by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings on Friday. Judge Jennings also filed a permanent injunction against implementation of the law. The city of Toledo was ruled as not having the authority to give the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department power to enforce the law. Judge Jennings also found that the law was not equally fair, saying it discriminated against owners of smaller rental operations over larger ...

    More >>

    A controversial lead-safe rental law was declared unconstitutional by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings on Friday. Judge Jennings also filed a permanent injunction against implementation of the law. The city of Toledo was ruled as not having the authority to give the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department power to enforce the law. Judge Jennings also found that the law was not equally fair, saying it discriminated against owners of smaller rental operations over larger ...

    More >>
  • TPD gears up for new recruit class, hopes to diversify department

    TPD gears up for new recruit class, hopes to diversify department

    Friday, July 20 2018 5:39 PM EDT2018-07-20 21:39:51 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    In just one week, 40 new recruits will hit the Toledo Police academy. And though it won't be immediate, those 40 men and women will eventually help with the manpower level in Toledo.

    More >>

    In just one week, 40 new recruits will hit the Toledo Police academy. And though it won't be immediate, those 40 men and women will eventually help with the manpower level in Toledo.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly