Police: Crematorium allegedly left cremated remains in storage for almost 10 years

A crematorium is accused of leaving bodies and cremated remains in storage for several years. (KGO, CALIFORNIA CEMETERY AND FUNERAL BUREAU, YELP.COM, CNN)
Published: Mar. 11, 2023 at 9:09 AM MST
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HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) - A California crematorium is under fire for allegedly leaving bodies in a warehouse for up to ten years.

Families had been trying to locate the remains of their loved ones, but they say the owner never responded.

Inside the warehouse, law enforcement found six bodies and 154 remains that had been cremated. Some of the remains had been held for almost 10 years.

“I think if families hadn’t started complaining, we probably even wouldn’t be here right now,” Lt. Tya Modeste with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, speaking on behalf of the coroner’s office.

According to Modeste, Oceanview Cremations Corporation had allegedly been operating on a suspended license since 2018.

It may have been allowed to cremate but not to store the remains.

“That’s how they ended up incorporating the warehouse and having them stored there so that they weren’t actually on their premises,” Modeste said. “But the issue there is that the warehouse was not licensed to store the remains either.”

On Feb. 28, the coroner’s office was notified by the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau of what was happening at the warehouse.

The next day the coroner’s office went to retrieve the remains.

“Of the six bodies and that 154 remains that were located, that’s a large span of time from 2013 to 2021,” Modeste said.

Yelp reviews document the struggle many families faced trying to find their loved ones.

Some say the company’s website was suspended.

“Of the six deceased that we recovered, five of them have been identified and those families said that they had attempted to follow up with Oceanview and they were not able to get in contact with the owner,” Modeste said.

Modeste said many families just assumed the bodies were cremated and the ashes dispersed as per their contract.

“Some of the remains were supposed to be, you know, spread at sea and that clearly didn’t happen,” Modeste said.

The 154 cremated bodies were labeled, and the families are now being notified.

Oceanview Cremations did not return requests for comment.