So it seems out in LA County a growing number of families are leaving their recently deceased relatives out to dry – or in this case, rot and fester.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the weak economy has led to a growing number of families leaving their loved ones unclaimed at the morgue.

The county coroner's office reports that 36% more cremations were done at taxpayers' expense in the last fiscal year over the previous year, from 525 to 712.

The county also noted that it saw a 25% increase in cremations in the first half of this year over the same period a year ago, rising to 680 from 545.

The demands have been so severe that the county crematorium has stopped accepting bodies. As a result the coroner’s office has contracted with two private crematories for $135,000 to handle the overflow.

With California’s finances in a state of disarray, there’s not much of a budget available to handle the ever increasing load.


My grandparents died within six months of each other in 2007. It placed a heavy financial strain on my family, but each received a memorial service. How sad that we’re now at the point where families can’t even afford to bury their loved ones?

Have any of you struggled recently to cover funeral costs for recently deceased relatives? I’d love for you to share your struggles with giving your family members a proper burial.

Post your story below or email it to me at

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.