OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma medical examiner's office has 28 unclaimed bodies in storage, 18 of them from cases that arose this year -- already triple the number of unclaimed remains in 2009.
One apparent homicide victim's body is being held at the request of a family that pays an annual storage fee, in the hope that the remains could still help investigators who haven't yet solved the crime.
The Oklahoman newspaper reported Saturday that Susan and David Deviney have begun paying $100 a year for the office to store the body of their daughter, Sheila Deviney. She was found six years ago burned to death in her Maysville trailer home.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says her homicide case is still active. But according to Susan Deviney, state officials said the body would be destroyed unless there was some movement in the case, and the family was upset. She said the family accepted the office's offer to keep the body in storage in return for the annual fee.