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Coroner cleans up cemetery for remains of poor and unclaimed

August 11, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — One of South Carolina’s largest counties is re-dedicating the cemetery where it buries remains that aren’t claimed by family members or whose relatives are too poor to afford a burial.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says volunteers have worked to spruce up the Richland County Cemetery on Old Clemson Road so it looks more like a dignified place of respect.

Watts told WLTX-TV that he buried 17 sets of remains in the cemetery in July and he holds services four times a year.

Watts says he started the services when he took office about two decades ago.

Watts says the coroner’s office cremates the remains before burial to save money.

The dedication of the cleaned up cemetery is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday.

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