Unclaimed bodies at CHC morgue

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is set to bury one of two unclaimed bodies in its morgue.

Saipan Tribune learned yesterday that CHCC currently has three bodies in its morgue, which can only accommodate six bodies.

While information relating to one was not disclosed, it was learned yesterday that the bodies of Fred Tankersley and Ozung Van Tran remain unclaimed at the morgue.

Tankersley’s remains have been in the morgue since April 18, 2018. He was born on Nov. 25, 1938. Tran’s remains have been in the morgue since Nov. 5, 2017; he was born on May 30, 1947.

CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña told Saipan Tribune that it is the corporation’s policy to bury or cremate the remains of unclaimed bodies two weeks after a public announcement is made in the local newspapers.

“CHCC wants to give the decedents peace with a burial. Once we complete the necessary procedures, per the regulations, we will make the burial arrangements,” she said.

CHCC manager of general support services Thomas Palacios told Saipan Tribune yesterday that they have had trouble getting in touch with the next of kin of the remains. He did not identify the third body. The third unidentified body has reportedly been at the morgue since earlier this year.

According to the CNMI regulations on disposition of abandoned remains, the CHCC CEO may arrange with a funeral establishment or crematorium for unclaimed human remains, excluding historic human remains, to be interred or cremated after the bodies have remained unclaimed for more than two weeks.

The policy further noted that the funeral establishment would maintain the documentation of the unclaimed remains that were interred or cremated.

Palacios told Saipan Tribune that the normal place of burial for unclaimed remains is at the Tanapag Cemetery.

He issued public notices yesterday to notify the public of the two remains, so they may be claimed by any next of kin.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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