Memorial Day weekend: LA County coroners prepare 44 unclaimed veterans' bodies for burial

Riverside National Cemetery
Riverside National Cemetery
Ed Joyce/KPCC

The bodies of 44 unclaimed veterans were prepared by Los Angeles County coroners on Friday for proper burials. The process of preparing unclaimed veterans' bodies for proper burials happens routinely every week.

L.A. County spokesman David Sommers says that every year, the county and VA team up to bury the bodies of hundreds of veterans when no next of kin can be found.

"So it is the county that serves as that final touch point in their lives of giving them a burial, but it requires several layers of verification that there is no next of kin before we can take them out to the National Cemetery," Sommers said.

RELATED: Los Angeles County buries unclaimed remains of 1,656 in mass grave

The county does a final search for possible relatives of the veterans, Sommers said, before they are transported to the Riverside National Cemetery.

Some of the bodies in this group had been at the L.A. County Morgue for a few months. Two died in recent days. Some will be buried as early as next week.