MACON, Ga. — The morgue is just one place where Macon-Bibb County Chief Coroner Leon Jones stores bodies while he contacts family members, but it gets expensive to store them there.
Jones says it costs $100 a day to hold a body while they wait for it to be cremated.
He says during the months of March and April they had five bodies they just couldn't get rid of.
"I can't understand for the love of God, how a person can let his 87-year-old grandmother from Danville, Illinois stay in the morgue decaying, and say I don't want anything to deal with it," said Jones.
Jones says he had to hold the woman in his care for more than 10 days. That's a $1,000 bill tax payers foot.
Jones says he's running low on funds, so he's asking the county for $65,000 for additional body storage fees.
"I'm going to do my job and watch these tax dollars, but when you have people who won't claim bodies, there's nothing I can do about that," said Jones.
It's free for him to hold onto ashes, but he needs authorization from a family or a court order, which can take time while the bill runs up.
"Bury the hatchet, blood is thicker than water, bury the hatchet," said Jones.
He says he doesn't mind giving time to a grieving family who needs to figure out their next step, but when people do not make a plan for the deceased, everyone is forced to suffer the consequences.
Commissioners will vote on those funds for the coroner's office at their next meeting on May 7th.
Jones currently has a $100,000 budget, but he is projecting he will need those extra funds.