S Lynn (robling_t) wrote in little_details,
S Lynn

outcome of body w/ no one to claim it (and timeline)

setting: contemporary, Cook County, IL (Chicago)
searched: county website's page for duties of the medical examiner; LD tags on funerals and suicide

I've got a situation where a character with no known relatives has committed suicide. (There's a sort-of-SO, but nobody else this character interacts with regularly would even be able to help officials find the SO for notification purposes, not least because they have reasons to not want to be found easily.) What information I've been able to turn up regarding this jurisdiction says that there would be a pro forma autopsy because of the suicide, but what I'm coming up blank on is what would become of the body after that if officials have no leads on any party to release it to; I'm guessing that there's some sort of procedure in place for "after X days of trying to find a relative somewhere it's cremated on the county's dime [or perhaps the funds to cover that are appropriated from the deceased's estate, given that the person is identified and not indigent?] and sent to whatever resting-place we're currently interring unclaimed remains at", but I'd like to be able to fill in that X.

Additionally, if the SO were to discover what had happened within the waiting-period represented by that X, what might happen then? Would they be able to step up and make arrangements for their late sort-of-partner in the absence of any legal connections? (This bit I can fudge if I need to, somebody Knows A Guy...) And what sort of proof of their identity and connection to the deceased might they need, or would the county after a period of looking be just as happy that somebody besides them is offering to be responsible for it and wash their hands of the whole thing? (Googling "indigent burial 'cook county'" suggests the county's overworked enough that they might be willing to look the other way if someone does want a body, but I'm not sure about the legal side of all that, and SO really needs to stay off the official radar even with Knowing A Guy...)

(Oh, and sort of a tangent -- how deep would the county dig looking for a relative, IE, how closely related does one have to be to get stuck with a body? Aunts, cousins, weird guy Mom was Vegas-married to for a week that one summer...?)
Tags: usa: illinois, ~forensics (misc), ~funerals, ~law (misc), ~law enforcement (misc), ~suicide

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