Where Do All The John and Jane Does Go?
ABC23 Got An Exclusive Inside Look At The County's Coroner's Building
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The coroner said currently there are 75 to 100 John or Jane Does in Kern County from as far back as the 1960s who haven't been identified.
So what happens to all of these bodies that the world seemingly has forgotten?
Every month, the coroner's office receives an average of 300 bodies.
"You may have five to 10 reported as John or Jane Does, but in a short amount of hours or days they're identified," said Kern County Coroner John Van Rensselaer.
But each year there are two to four who remain unidentified.
"Sometimes they're immigrants, transients, or not. They could be an overdose dump where they do drugs with a group of people and dies and the people don't want to be caught so they dump the body," Van Rensselaer said.
But in Bakersfield's most recent case, it was a hit-and-run on April 25.
The man was hit by a red or maroon Chevrolet sedan as he crossed Niles Street.
No one has come forward, and the man's fingerprints aren't on record, leaving the coroner's office just a month to find next of kin. Otherwise, dental and DNA processing will be done and sent off to the Department of Justice for a nationwide search.
And while the case is then filed away, it isn't closed.
"There's a family out there certainly missing somebody. Everybody has family. You'd love to find that family and give them closure. It's frustrating," said Van Rensselaer.
Meanwhile the John or Jane Doe is cremated, placed in an urn and labeled with a number, no name.
The urn is then buried in a grave or placed in a mausoleum at Hillcrest Cemetery with other unknowns.