New funeral home manager puzzled over 170 abandoned cremains

MONTROSE, Colo. (AP) — The new manager of a Colorado funeral home is trying to find relatives for the cremated remains of about 170 people that were left in the building’s basement after going unclaimed.

Matt Boyle said he moved Rose Memorial Parlour into the Montrose building in October and found the cremains during renovations.

Some of the remains have no name and no way to identify who they belong to, or when the person died, he said. Some of them date back to 1947.

Boyle said he wants to locate the relatives, even though it is not his responsibility.

“When we first found it, I felt so overwhelmed,” he said. “But we’re trying to do the right thing, and I think that’s giving these people a dignified committal.”

Two state agencies are investigating allegations of fraud and misconduct with a past owner, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported.

The first business opened in 1931, and a number of mergers and owners have clouded the investigation.

Grand Junction attorney Joe Coleman, who owns the building, said he did not know about the remains until after a previous tenant left.

After Boyle moved in, they learned many of the remains were labeled, and they contacted the local historical society and published the names to try to notify families.

Remains not claimed by May 29 will be included in a multi-denominational service at a cemetery.

comments powered by Disqus