Coroner finds 160 remains stored in Hayward warehouse
HAYWARD, Calif. - Cremated remains and bodies were recovered from a Hayward warehouse that was linked to an unlicensed crematory, authorities said.
On March 1, six bodies and 154 cremated remains were removed from the warehouse that was being used by Oceanview Cremations, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
Oceanview Cremations' business license was suspended in 2018, sheriff's officials said. And the Hayward warehouse where the bodies and remains were kept, was not authorized to store remains.
The California Cemetery and Funeral Board alerted the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau that Oceanview Cremations had continued operations, despite being unlicensed.
All but one of the deceased have been identified.
"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 wrote.
Authorities said one of the deceased is unidentified because Smith was not able to produce any record or information about the death or next of kin.
The bodies and remains had were stored with Oceanview Cremations between 2013 and 2021, authorities said.
"This issue spans 15 counties with 64 of them (deceased) being right here in Alameda County, so it's a huge issue. And the time frame is so wide, from 2013 to 2021," said Lt. Tya Modeste of the sheriff's office. "There are so many people who have no idea what happened to their loved ones."
Those who entrusted the crematory with final arrangements for their loved one between that time frame and are uncertain about their disposition is asked to contact the coroner's bureau at (510) 382-3000.
Anyone who has worked with Oceanview Cremations in the past and would like to share their experience please contact KTVU at (510) 874-0242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.