The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security Division of Forensic Science (DFS) has released the names of the remaining unclaimed cremains located last month in a former Dover funeral home, following unsuccessful attempts to locate next of kin.
In August, DFS responded to a request to check the former Minus Funeral Home after 38 small containers of cremains were discovered inside the building on North Queen Street, said DFS spokeswoman Kimberly Chandler.
These marked containers of cremains span a period from approximately 1970 through the 1990s. Nine of these were identified as victims of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, Chandler said.
DFS staff learned that 31 containers were marked and identified. Seven containers of cremains still remain unidentified.
Staff members immediately began the work of locating family members and within a few days of the discovery, five cremains were returned to family members. Four were Jonestown victims, Irra Johnson, Wanda King, Maud Perkins, and Mary Rodgers. The cremains of one local resident, Bryan Glass, were claimed by family as well.
In the past month, DFS staff have unsuccessfully culled through Delaware death certificates and cremation permits, searched online obituaries and other state databases in an attempt to identify family contacts. They have also reached out to the Jonestown Institute at San Diego State University, the California Historical Society and other Jonestown survivors but have been unable to find any additional family members.
The names of the unclaimed remains from the Jonestown Massacre are: Ottie Mese Guy, Katherine M. Domineck, Tony Walker, Irene Mason, and Ruth Atkins.
Those remains believed to belong to Delawareans include: Daisy E. Wilson, Benjamin Loper, Miles Fletcher, Rosella Gibson, Charmaine Hicks, Lettie Anderson, Rayfield Barber, Clifton Hawkins, Berline Melton, Maryone Jackson, Diana M. Hunt, Essie L.D. Thomas, Bernard Paskins, John McClain, Leroy Davis Jr., Willie Gaines, Freeman K. Pettyjohn, Mekhi D. and Genesis M. Gunter, Louis E. Bubbey, Lizzie Owens and Lonnie Wimbly.
This information is being released now in hopes it will lead to the identification of other family members. Anyone with information about family members is encouraged to contact DFS at (302) 577-3420.