If you live in the Harris County metroplex and you want to visit Harris County's "Paupers' Cemetery" the address is 5439 Oates Road in Houston.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
This presents an interesting problem. Police find a dead man off the side of the road. Investigation begins, autopsy completed, and nobody knows who this man was. Fingerprints come back to nothing, the body doesn't fit the description of any missing person. Literally, only God knows who this man was and he isn't going to tell the police. So what happens to his remains? No family has come forth to claim him. The county has to dispose of the unknown man's remains. From a fiscal standpoint it is cheaper to cremate the remains and be done with them. However, this was a human being and although nobody will ever know who he was or what his story was, there should be some semblance of respect. How does the county know if the man was against cremation by religious belief or personal opinion? While granted this is an extreme example, this story does ask a difficult question. A person dies, and their final expenses cannot be covered by the family or the estate. So that leaves the county with the task of disposing of the remains. I visited the "Paupers' Graveyard" a couple of years back. Here are some pictures;