MACON, Ga. — They were someone's son, daughter, brother or sister, but now they sit unclaimed. Bibb County's unclaimed remains often end in a box in storage.
Last year, the Bibb coroner's office spent more than $200,000 preserving the ashes of people whose families never claimed their remains.
Now, one group says a columbarium could be a respectful solution to help save the city some money.
"In the city, the next of kin do not want to claim the body," Coroner Leon Jones said back in April.
The Macon Cemetery Preservation Corporation (MCPC) is hoping to give those remains a final resting place.
"We are going to ask the commissioners and the coroners if they would like to work with us in getting rid of ashes that sit in the coroner's office," said MCPC president Yolanda Latimore.
Latimore says they hope to use a columbarium at Linwood Cemetery to give unclaimed remains a respectable resting place.
"Where you can probably place up to four urns or containers with ashes, it could be single boxes, so it depends on the structure and how it is designed," Latimore said.
She says the columbarium would be able to house more than 100 unclaimed remains, with a price tag of more than $60,000.
The 50-door structure would house four remains in each door, reserving ten doors for future use by the coroner's office.
"Everybody at one point was living. All those people contributed to society somehow, so I guess it would be to give closure," Latimore said.
If the idea is approved, the columbarium would have the name, birth and death date on the front door of the deceased's ashes.
Latimore is hoping the government hops on board.
"If we can get some other entities involved, we would like to show how we think these ashes are important," she said.
The Bibb County Commission voted to postpone their vote until April, giving the MCPC time to come up with a grant to pay to help pay for the idea.