Unburied bodies tell the tale of Detroit — a city in despair

From the Times Online:

The abandoned corpses, in white body bags with number tags tied to each toe, lie one above the other on steel racks inside a giant freezer in Detroit’s central mortuary, like discarded shoes in the back of a wardrobe.

Some have lain here for years, but in recent months the number of unclaimed bodies has reached a record high. For in this city that once symbolised the American Dream many cannot even afford to bury their dead.

“I have not seen this many unclaimed bodies in 13 years on the job,” said Albert Samuels, chief investigator at the mortuary. “It started happening when the economy went south last year. I have never seen this many people struggling to give people their last resting place.”

(via delicious.com/WCityMike)


  1. I live ten minutes from downtown Detroit and attended college inside of the city (Wayne State University) and I can say Detroit truly is a classic Shakespearean tragedy. Seeing photos of how mighty the city once was in the 30’s-60’s compared to its current state is heart wrenching. The sad part is, no one really has the answers. The school district is in shambles and because of that, it is producing uneducated citizens. Just this week it was announced that the NEAP test results show that the Detroit students have scored the lowest average test results that have EVER been recorded http://tinyurl.com/y9plf4n.

    The average house value in the city of Detroit is a whopping $7500.00! http://tinyurl.com/ddzurt Can you believe that?! 7500 for a house! So put together an uneducated public and low housing prices that do not collect a large tax you can imagine that city services are lacking in the 11th largest city in the country.

    Look at the majesty that Detroit once was…. http://tinyurl.com/aaolo9

  2. This is madness! The cost of storing a body for years (keeping it frozen) must outweigh a one-time paupers’ burial, surely?

    Then again, if your school system has collapsed as previously mentioned then maybe addition and long division aren’t your strong suit.

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