The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

April 25, 2014

Homeless man to be buried in Maplewood

Authorities wereunable to locate his next of kin

ANDERSON — A funeral will be held at East Maplewood Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. today for Christopher Cook, a homeless man who died on April 17.

Madison County Coroner Marian Dunnichay said that despite having a name and a date of birth for Cook, 52, no relatives or acquaintances have come forward to claim the body. Dunnichay said it is very rare in this age of technology to have a name, date of birth and Social Security number and still not be able to find anything about a person.

The coroner’s office and the Anderson Police Department have both tried to find possible family members but all leads have turned up empty.

Because state law prohibits cremating a body without permission, Cook will be laid to rest in Maplewood Cemetery.

Dunnichay said people from her office and the Anderson Police Department will be at the funeral to pay their respects.

“I feel like everyone should have at least someone there at their funeral,” Dunnichay said.

An Anderson police chaplain will officiate the ceremony.

Cook, who was known to APD as a homeless man, was picked up by police on the night of April 16 and taken to the hospital to sober up. Dunnichay said her office went through the records but Cook hadn’t listed anyone as a next of kin or emergency contact.

Dunnichay said Cook refused treatment while at the hospital and went to Pulaski Park, on East 38th Street, where he died of hypothermia.

Cook had a history of alcohol use. He was arrested in June 2013 and charged with public intoxication. The case has since been dismissed due to Cook’s death.

Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.

Funeral today Christopher Cook's funeral will be held at East Maplewood Cemetery, Anderson, at 9:30 a.m.

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