Unclaimed bodies increase in Racine County

RACINE, Wis. (AP) — The Racine County Medical Examiner had triple the number of unclaimed bodies in 2011.

Medical Examiner Tom Terry says there are usually two to four cases per year, but there were 12 for 2011 as of mid-December.

Terry tells The Journal Times he knows the people’s identities, but no one claims responsibility. He says it’s likely due to the economy and a change in society.

The county pays the internment costs in accordance with state law.

He says if the person is a veteran, he or she is buried in the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Cemetery in Dover.

Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home and Crematory has a contract with the county to cremate the others. Owner Gary Langendorf says he and a funeral director usually hold a small prayer service for those people.