Categorized | International, Local, News, Regional

Remains of Jonestown victims found in former US funeral home

DELAWARE, CMC – The cremated remains of several victims of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre in have been found in a former funeral home in the US state of Delaware .

The remains were found among 38 small containers of ashes found inside the former Minus Funeral Home in Dover, Delaware..

The Dover police told local media that of the 38 containers, 33 were clearly marked and identified. Nine of the 33 containers of unclaimed ashes were identified as victims of the Massacre.

The marked containers spanned a period from approximately 1970 through the 1990s. The funeral home’s owner, Edward Minus, died in 2012 and the funeral home was foreclosed on in October 2013 .

“It was definitely a shock when we found out exactly what we had,” said Dover police spokesman Mark Hoffman. “Obviously, it’s an intriguing story and a tragic story, and to think this was found right here in our jurisdiction, about six blocks from the police department, makes it very compelling to us.”

Documentation found in the funeral home, including death certificates, helped forensic investigators tie the nine remains to the Jonestown Massacre, police said.

State forensic investigators have taken possession of the remains and are continuing to identify them and make notifications to family members.

The tradegy in  Guyana in 1978 , occurred when, gunmen from the Peoples Temple cult founded by Jim Jones, ambushed and killed U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan of California, three newsmen and a defector from the group at Port Kaituma airstrip in Guyana as they visited on a fact-finding mission to investigate reports of abuses of members.

A total of 913 body boxes – more than 900 victims of the shocking mass killing and a handful of others, including leaders of the Peoples Temple – were flown from Guyana to the Port Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, where the bodies were identified and prepared for burial, according to articles published at the time in The News Journal.

Doretha Minus, who co-owned the former funeral home with her husband Edward Sr., who is now deceased, told the Dover Post that family members at the time would call and arrange to have their loved ones ashes flown home. Some couldn’t afford it, others never called, the paper quoted her as saying.

At least 29 of the Jonestown victims were cremated in New Jersey before the practice was temporarily halted because the six Delaware morticians who brought the bodies across the state line weren’t licensed to do so. Delaware initially barred the cremation or burial of the Jonestown dead in the state because death certificates weren’t immediately available.

 

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DELAWARE, CMC – The cremated remains of several victims of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre in have been found in a former funeral home in the US state of Delaware .

The remains were found among 38 small containers of ashes found inside the former Minus Funeral Home in Dover, Delaware..

The Dover police told local media that of the 38 containers, 33 were clearly marked and identified. Nine of the 33 containers of unclaimed ashes were identified as victims of the Massacre.

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The marked containers spanned a period from approximately 1970 through the 1990s. The funeral home’s owner, Edward Minus, died in 2012 and the funeral home was foreclosed on in October 2013 .

“It was definitely a shock when we found out exactly what we had,” said Dover police spokesman Mark Hoffman. “Obviously, it’s an intriguing story and a tragic story, and to think this was found right here in our jurisdiction, about six blocks from the police department, makes it very compelling to us.”

Documentation found in the funeral home, including death certificates, helped forensic investigators tie the nine remains to the Jonestown Massacre, police said.

State forensic investigators have taken possession of the remains and are continuing to identify them and make notifications to family members.

The tradegy in  Guyana in 1978 , occurred when, gunmen from the Peoples Temple cult founded by Jim Jones, ambushed and killed U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan of California, three newsmen and a defector from the group at Port Kaituma airstrip in Guyana as they visited on a fact-finding mission to investigate reports of abuses of members.

A total of 913 body boxes – more than 900 victims of the shocking mass killing and a handful of others, including leaders of the Peoples Temple – were flown from Guyana to the Port Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, where the bodies were identified and prepared for burial, according to articles published at the time in The News Journal.

Doretha Minus, who co-owned the former funeral home with her husband Edward Sr., who is now deceased, told the Dover Post that family members at the time would call and arrange to have their loved ones ashes flown home. Some couldn’t afford it, others never called, the paper quoted her as saying.

At least 29 of the Jonestown victims were cremated in New Jersey before the practice was temporarily halted because the six Delaware morticians who brought the bodies across the state line weren’t licensed to do so. Delaware initially barred the cremation or burial of the Jonestown dead in the state because death certificates weren’t immediately available.