John Doe #93 was cremated

The coroner's case report 88-03691 for John Doe #93 states, "The decedent is an unidentified male, approximately 25-30 years of age, the victim of an apparent suicide by walking directly into the path of a moving freight train, in the City of Industry, on April 7, 1988. The train sounded its horn several times, the decedent saw the train and had plenty of time to avoid it. Instead, he walked directly onto the tracks in front of the moving train. Case being handled as a suicide."

The report was based on information given by the train's engineer and a man who was sitting in his car across the street from the tracks, not more than 40 feet from where the incident took place. The report was filed at about 3:30 p.m. on April 7.

If, after three months, the LA County Coroner is unable to determine the identity of a John or Jane Doe body, that body is sent to the LA County Crematorium to be cremated. If those remains are not claimed within three years they are commingled in a common grave at the LA County Cemetery that sits in the sloping southwest corner of the larger, private Evergreen Cemetery bordering East Los Angeles.

The private part of the facility takes up what is essentially a city block bordered by Cesar Chavez and Evergreen avenues on the south and east, and by Lorena and First streets on the north and west. This is a sea of disparate grave stones and markers dating from the late 1800s to the present. There are large sections of predominantly Japanese names that are distinctive because of the stately clean, black granite markers. The cemetery is splashed vibrantly throughout with brightly colored plants and flowers placed at the memorials. At times there is such congestion and concentration of markers, it seems there can hardly be any room underground for all the caskets and bodies they represent.

Pretty much everything around the county cemetery is gang-marked, including trees, sidewalks, fence posts and the brick stations holding the padlocked gate at the edge of the dusty black tar driveway. Even the signs, "LA County Cemetery" and "LA County Crematory" are tagged. The two buildings inside, however, are clean. Circular strips of razor wire set on rows of barbed wire top the chain-link fences that surround the grassy, tree-dotted lot. Across the street is the large bustling parking lot of a public market building.

There are no markers rising above the ground at the county cemetery. There's little at all to suggest people are buried there except for small square plugs set into the ground with years marked on them. And there are just a couple of squares with names on them. From a distance, it simply looks like a well-kept park. But in fact, beneath the dirt there are ashes of thousands upon thousands of either unknown persons, unclaimed bodies, or both.

There are two buildings on the county property. Both are painted off-white. One looks like a typical '60s era suburban California ranch-style house. There is a bent little basketball hoop behind it. The other, larger building, which looks like a big shed with steeples, is distinguished by two thick red brick chimney stacks. One is large and rectangular. The other chimney is smaller, tapered with a rusted metal spout at the top.

John Doe #93 was cremated here on May 13, 1988.

Three years later, on October 24, 1991, a forensic periodontist, using dental records he had received eight days earlier from the Department of Justice, confirmed the identification of John Doe #93 as David Samuel Orr. But no one called the family to inform them of this development.