Diocese looks to reunite families with hundreds of unclaimed rem - WNEM TV 5

Diocese looks to reunite families with hundreds of unclaimed remains

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

The Catholic church is working to bring closure to hundreds of families after a local funeral home was forced to close.

Last summer, Swanson Funeral Home in Flint was shut down by the state after inspectors found decomposing bodies and maggots.

Following the closure, the remains of up to 300 people went unclaimed.

“We are here to reunite these remains with their families and we had some pretty emotional conversations today,” said Tim Bazany, manager of the Diocese of Lansing Cemeteries.

He said hundreds of urns were collected from Swanson Funeral Home. Bazany said his organization is working on getting the remains back into the right hands.

“We’ll do a search via white pages or Facebook to try to track these people down,” Bazany said.

Researching hasn’t gotten them very far.

The ashes are currently being stored at the New Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Flint Township. While most of the remains have identification, some of the urns do not.

“There was one gentleman in particular, but all we received was an urn with cremated remains and a photograph. We pealed the photograph off to see if there was a name and there wasn’t,” Bazany said.

There are still more than 300 sets of ashes unclaimed in the crypt.

Since the cemetery received the cremated remains they have blessed each box and have them stored in the mausoleum together.

“Obviously, they’re more than welcome to stay here if the family choose. We would love to reunite these families with their loved ones if that’s their wish,” Bazany said.

No matter what happened at Swanson Funeral Home, Bazany wants families to know they are free to come get their memorial.

“Doesn’t matter to us. Unfortunately, that’s over and in regards to Swanson, that’s no longer relevant,” Bazany said.

Any families wanting to reclaim remains should call the cemetery at 810-732-2620.

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