- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 1, 2014

Los Angeles officials cannot explain why the unclaimed bodies of 52 U.S. military veterans had accumulated over the last 15 months at a county morgue because no one arranged for their burial.

“All the people who touched this process are working together to figure out how this occurred,” said county spokesman David Sommers, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The problem began last year when Rose Hills Mortuaries, which transported the bodies of homeless veterans to Riverside National Cemetery under a charity program, started cutting back services, The Times reported.

As transportation dropped off, bodies began to accumulate at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. The earliest deaths occurred in February of last year, and by April, there were 52 unclaimed bodies.

Top county officials didn’t learn about the problem until late May, Mr. Sommers said.

Last Friday, 44 of the bodies were taken to the coroner’s office, which is now coordinating the burials, officials said, according to The Times.