Illinois coroner to poor: Pay $1000 or county keeps remains

(ABC News) A coroner in western Illinois is facing sharp criticism for how he handles poor people who can’t afford to bury their loved ones: He has them sign over their rights to the deceased, leaving them without the death certificate, then cremates the body and keeps the ashes until the family pays $1,000.

If they cannot come up with the money, the ashes are eventually buried, along with others, in an unmarked grave. If the family needs the death certificate to access bank accounts or life insurance, the coroner first arranges for the county to recoup its costs from any proceeds.

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