Coroner Uses Web To Help In Morgue - 1 In 3 Unclaimed Were

Tom Boland (
Sun, 16 May 1999 06:51:59 -0700 (PDT)

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year in your local community?  If so, what sources inform your tally?
FWD  Associated Press - April 30, 1999


SAN BERNARDINO [California, USA] (AP) - The San Bernardino County
coroner's office has created what it says is the nation's first
Internet clearinghouse for information on unclaimed bodies in the

There are more than 170 names on the list, which is found on the
Web at <>. The plan is to make it a national

They died in hospitals, nursing homes, car crashes and on the
street. One of the youngest is 15, the oldest 99. The last person
on the list is Keith Ray Zorn, a 60-year-old transient born in
Nebraska who died in January 1998.

A third of those on the list are like Zorn - homeless.

``Somebody, somewhere, loves this man. We just haven't been able
to find them,'' coroner inspector Randy Emon said.

Family members in search of lost relatives can access the
federal government's Social Security death index, but the Social
Security number of the deceased is required.

The coroner's Web site lists name, age, place of birth, place of
death and the investigator's name and telephone number. It carries
information only on deceased people whose identities are known.

``This will serve a very useful purpose,'' said Edmund Donoghue,
president of the National Association of Medical Examiners and
chief of the Cook County coroner's office in Illinois. ``I think it
will bring people some peace of mind.''

Other Web sites operated by missing persons groups and a new one
being established by the California attorney general's office
already offer information on unidentified John and Jane Does.

``For years, we've pushed for a Web site for unclaimed bodies
that have a name. They've had databases for unidentified corpses.
What about the identified? They have family, too,'' said Doyle
Tolbert, who is in charge of family notification for the Los
Angeles County coroner's office.


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