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Where Do Costa Rica’s Unclaimed Dead Bodies Go?

Costa Rica News – The Calvo cemetery has long been home to the remains of unclaimed bodies. If no relative shows up to identify a body it would be buried there, behind the Municipality of San Jose, in Mata Redonda.

costa rica dead bodiesDue to a shortage of space, beginning in July, the bodies have had to be cremated instead, according to Jorge Aguilar, head of Forensic Pathology.

There have been 20 cremations so far.

The judiciary has signed a document so that the Montesacro Funeral Home does not incur any economic cost for the service, which usually costs ¢750,000. Still, it is not an easy process to cremate an abandoned corpse because the Ministry of Health requires permits.

For permit approval one needs a death certificate and personal details, which are not often available for unclaimed bodies.

Among the latest list of unclaimed remains, DNA tests were done and some were identified or claimed by family. Among the remains was a head found to belong to a driver killed five years ago, when only partial remains were found.

The family will be notified before any burial or cremation.

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