Six bodies and the cremated remains of 154 others were discovered in a California warehouse linked to a local crematorium and mortuary, whose license was suspended more than five years ago.
Alameda County Coroner’s Office bodies and remains recovered of the building in Hayward by March 1, according to KGO. All of them are connected to Oceanview Cremations and are believed to be people who were received by the funeral home between 2013 and 2021, the sheriff’s office said.
The Coroner’s Office is still working to identify the remains and notify next of kin. As of Tuesday, five of the six bodies have been identified.
Oceanview Cremations owner Robert Smith was “unable to produce any viable information regarding the location of death or next of kin” of the sixth body, police said in a news release. The body likely came from Sonoma County.
Lt. Tya Modeste, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, told ABC News that, so far, the identities of four of the 154 people cremated They have been confirmed by relatives. At least one of those people told forensics that she believed she was already in possession of her father’s ashes.
“Since we have them, he obviously has someone else’s ashes,” Modeste said.
Oceanview Cremations had allegedly been operating on a suspended license, since 2018. According to the sheriff’s office, the California Board of Cemeteries and Funerals did not notify the coroner’s office of Oceanview’s suspension until February 28.
Furthermore, the warehouse involved is not authorized to store remains.
Anyone who has used the services of Oceanview Cremations between 2013 and 2022 is asked to contact the coroner’s office at 510-382-3000.