Graves Of Unidentified Katrina Victims Marked - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Graves Of Unidentified Katrina Victims Marked

Crews put down a headstone next to the resting place of two men who lost their lives during Katrina. Harrison County coroner Gary Hargrove says his office hasn't been able to track down the true identifies of the men.

The mystery of who is buried in the graves still troubles Harrison County's coroner.

Gary Hargrove said, "It's very frustrating not to know who they are and who their families are so we can return them back to their loved ones."

On Friday a small group gathered to watch workers install a headstone to mark the resting place of Katrina victims known only as "Will" and "Strength."

"Once we recovered the individuals, we took care of them for over a year trying to identify them,' said Hargrove. "We laid them to rest a year later and today is the final process of finally marking their graves so that there will be a permanent marker there."

The scene brought back a rush of memories for Bubba Lang of Bradford O'Keefe Funeral Home. Memories that go back more than than 30 years.

"Back in 1969 my father and myself and our firm took care of the three unidentified from Hurricane Camille and we just felt like we needed to do this again," said Lang. "Kind of brings back memories from '69. I just hope someone will come forward and identify these two gentlemen so they can be removed from this place and placed at rest with their families."

Hargrove shares that hope and the hope that never again will there be another grave site for someone killed in a hurricane.

Gary Hargrove said, "Before the storm we encouraged people to leave and some stayed. Unfortunately we had 97 in our county that lost their lives. Hopefully, in the future, people will take this as a reminder that when the warning is issued by the Director of EOC General Spraggins that they will leave the area."

The activities are a joint effort between Harrison County's funeral homes to bury and place markers in memory of these two unknown Katrina victims.

by Danielle Thomas  

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