DETROIT (WWJ) – The state Department of Human Services is reaching out to help Wayne County with a troubling problem – -a backlog of unclaimed bodies at the morgue. 

About 185 bodies have piled up since 2008, and DHS spokesman Edward Woods tells WWJ state money may be able to help the families who can’t afford a funeral.

“We do have a state emergency relief program for people who may not have the money to afford their loved ones a proper burial. We have funds available… so that your unclaimed relatives are not left in the morgue,” Woods said.

“We want to make sure they’re getting the help. And we wanted to know if they were any unnessary hurdles or buracracy that needs to be elliminate, so that we can ensure that these unclaimed dead brothers and sisters are afforded the dignity and respect that they deserve,” he said.

Woods says people who don’t have the money to bury their loved ones should contact the Michigan Department of Human Services to see about help.

Woods says Michigan spent about $4.2 million on burials last year, but about $75,000 earmarked for the program was shifted to use elsewhere because no one applied for it.


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