Adams County coroner searching for relatives of unclaimed indigents

The Adams County coroner is searching for relatives of unclaimed indigent people who died before he took office.

Coroner John Myers II took over after former coroner Jim Keller resigned amid controversy over the way he handled indigent deaths. Since Keller’s resignation, the county has implemented a new indigent burial policy. The new policy has family members sign an affidavit saying they and the decedent don’t have money, therefore taking that duty off of the coroner’s shoulders.

The remains of four indigent’s have been claimed, but Myers is still looking for the relatives of a dozen more.

“The first problem we had is all we had is a name,” said Myers. “So working with the crematorium they were able to go through their records and give us a date of death. At that point we can go into the vital records system and find a death certificate and hopefully find somebody who is a relative.”

Myers said if you are the relative of an indigent person to call the coroner’s office at 217-277-2015.

The twelve unclaimed remains are named below:

  • Birdie Bell
  • Ernest Biehler
  • Michael Biggs
  • Jacqueline Bishoff
  • Darlene Day
  • Dean Heitholt
  • Todd Holmes
  • Terry Lynn Hutchison
  • Michael Kuch
  • Raymond Strange
  • Alford Eugene Walters
  • Mary L. Wilson

Related:
Indigent death policy sparks emotional Adams County Board meeting
Indigent burial policy under review in Adams County
Adams County’s indigent death policy being reviewed
New indigent death policy now in place

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