Several states in the U.S. provide funding for indigent burials, or the burial of bodies who have no home or whose family could not be found. But in 2009, NPR reports, an unprecedented number of bodies went unclaimed because families had no resources to pay for even basic $500 cremation costs.
Dr. Karen Gunson said of her Oregon morgue:
"We don't really want to become a storage place."
LISTEN TO THE STORY: