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6 Bodies, 154 Remains Recovered From Hayward Warehouse: Sheriff

Six bodies and 154 cremated remains were recovered this month from a Hayward warehouse linked to Oceanview Cremations, which had its license suspended in 2018, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

The sheriff’s office is now asking for the public’s help in reuniting an unidentified body and the other remains.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau learned about Oceanview Cremations’ suspension on Feb. 28 after the California Cemetery and Funeral Board reported the business continued to operate and kept remains in a Hayward warehouse that was unauthorized to store remains.

The coroner’s bureau along with Grissom’s Mortuary, a county-contracted funeral home, then responded on March 1 to recover the remains. Five of the six bodies were identified, the sheriff’s office said, adding families were contacted and notified of the investigation.

“Family members indicated that after their calls to Oceanview Cremations’ owner, Robert Smith, went unanswered, they believed their loved ones had been cremated or scattered at sea as requested,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.

The sheriff’s office said late Friday the Hayward location was not suspended until January 2023 and that the Oceanview Cremations corporation was suspended in 2018.

Here’s more information from the sheriff’s office release:

One decedent is unidentified because Mr. Smith was not able to produce any viable information about the location of death or the next of kin. The Coroner’s Bureau was advised that the decedents were received at the funeral home between 2020 and 2021. Five decedents were from Alameda County. The sixth came from Sonoma County, but the owner could not provide a timeframe for when that occurred. The Coroner’s Bureau took possession of two decedents. Grissom’s Mortuary took possession of four decedents and the cremated remains. Grissom’s Mortuary has since sorted and alphabetized the cremated remains, which are from the following counties:

Alameda County (64), Contra Costa County (10), Fresno County (1), Marin County (9), Napa County (2), Placer County (1), Sacramento County (1), Stanislaus County (2), San Francisco County (23), San Joaquin County (3), San Mateo County (15), Santa Clara County (9), Santa Cruz County (4), Solano County (2) and Sonoma County (8).

Anyone who arranged final arrangements for a loved one with Oceanview Cremations between 2013 and 2022 and are uncertain of their disposition or the whereabouts of their cremated remains, should contact the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau at 510-382-3000.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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