DONA ANA COUNTY, New Mexico (KTSM) – About 35 people living in Doña Ana County paid their respects on Thursday to 16 deceased people whose bodies were never claimed by either family nor friend.
The Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department held a non-denominational service for those unclaimed bodies at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Las Cruces.
The department held onto the bodies for two years, as required by law before cremating the remains.
The ceremony was originally planned for 23 people, but seven families reached out to county personnel to claim their loved ones’ cremains.
Thursday’s services were officiated by Rev. Jess Williams. and about eight representatives of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas showed up to pray for the departed.
Some members of the Las Cruces Police Department were also in attendance and provided a funeral procession escort.
The names of those interred are: Charles L. Travis, 63; Fred Creley, 76; Robert Reed, 62; Santiago Dominguez, 81; Jackie B. Robertson, 88; Randolph Bloom, 66; Thomas DeLong, 58; Jerry D. Goodrey, 55; Michael J. Nolin, 69; Robert L. Frachette, 70; Katherine Shaw, 85; Roberto Alvarado, 71; Wayne A. Irvin, 55; Larry L. Landers, 66; Rick. L. Smock, 56; and Robert A. Smith, 61.