INDIANAPOLIS — A first-of-its-kind unveiling will take place Tuesday, Sept. 26th, at the Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in the Castleton area, a monument built to honor the lives of 173 deceased Marion County residents and their unclaimed remains. 

The sculpture on the columbarium, Doves in Flight, was sculpted by Hooiser artist Arlon Bayliss.

The, He Knows Your Name ministry led the project to build the adorned columbarium, or memorial, to hold the cremated remains of the 173, to help create a final resting place for those whose bodies were left behind at the Marion County Coroner’s Office for any number of reasons, be that family estrangement, financial setback or otherwise.

The memorial contains the cremains and names of each person left behind from 2006 – 2019. He Knows Your Name Founder Linda Znachko says there is no monument like this anywhere in the country, let alone the state. She hopes other Indiana counties will take action to prevent a backlog of unclaimed remains from building up again in coroner’s offices statewide.

“Come up with a budget for this,” Znachko said. “It’s not going to always look like what He Knows Your Name did last year; that was a whole other expense. It was what I chose to do, but I also did it because I want to make the biggest splash in the deep end of a pool in this country and say hey everybody, be aware, this is a problem, I want to educate you and I want to show you what I think should be done for all the unclaimed. Like, take the next step. Do something about the problem.”

Znachko hopes the monument will continue raising awareness about affordable burial options and family reconciliation and giving dignity to the memories of those memorialized in stone. 

The public is invited to pay their respects and see the monument during its unveiling ceremony at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens at 9700 Allisonville Rd – scheduled for 10:30 a.m. just north of the main buildings.