New rules approved for Cook County burials

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The medical examiner and cemeteries in Cook County face tougher regulations under recently passed legislation designed to protect unidentified bodies and poor people.

CHICAGO (AP) — The medical examiner and cemeteries in Cook County face tougher regulations under recently passed legislation designed to protect unidentified bodies and poor people.

The legislation includes more rules on coffin transport and required DNA samples from unidentified bodies.

The Cook County Board passed the legislation Wednesday; it equires a signature from the board president.

The rules come after authorities learned of problems with burial practices, including at Burr Oak Cemetery in suburban Alsip. Bodies were found stacked on top of each other, among other issues.

The new rules require DNA from unidentified bodies be sent to Illinois State Police to help solve cases of missing persons and handling cold cases. The rules also limit one body per coffin and say a non-biodegradable identification tag should be attached to each coffin.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

(AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)

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