Dothan Police provide burial for abandoned resident’s remains

The man’s remains were found by the new homeowner of a family member’s home, who moved in 2013.
Lieutenant Collins donated his own money alongside Dothan attorney Kevan Kelley for a Cemetery...
Lieutenant Collins donated his own money alongside Dothan attorney Kevan Kelley for a Cemetery Marker for the gravesite, with the marker planned to be placed on July 13.(Dothan Police Department)
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 4:01 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - A Dothan resident who passed away in June 2004 finally found his final resting place after having his remains abandoned.

After his passing, Hubert Gerald Finley, Sr. was cremated, with his remains given to family who resided in Dothan at the time.

Unfortunately, his remains were found by the new homeowner of that family member’s home, who moved in 2013. Dothan Police were called and Mr. Finley’s remains, which were in a plastic bag inside a cardboard box in the home, were turned in as “found or abandoned property.”

After years passed with no claim to Mr. Finley, Lieutenant Jeremy Collins began looking for other options after being made aware of the “unacceptable” circumstances. He attempted to locate any family member to take possession of the remains, though these attempts were unsuccessful.

Finally, Lieutenant Collins and Officer Hunt began reaching out to local businesses for assistance, with Derrick Wright of Wright Funeral Home and Crematory donating an urn to hold Mr. Finley’s remains upon hearing the story. This was followed by Kimberly Rawls of Family First Funeral Care donating a vault to hold that urn, and then the City of Dothan Cemetery donating a burial plot.

On June 24 at 7:00am, Lieutenant Collins and Officer Hunt dug the burial plot for Mr. Finley before they reported to work. Afterwards, a burial ceremony was conducted by Dothan Police Sergeant Morgan, the pastor of New Seasons Fellowship, during his off day.

Lieutenant Collins donated his own money alongside Dothan attorney Kevan Kelley for a Cemetery Marker for the gravesite, with the marker planned to be placed on July 13.

Dothan Chief Will Benny said of his men and the community, “In a time where you often see more bad news than good, I am extremely proud to be part of a community and department full of people that truly have a heart for helping others.  It is my honor to publicly commend these officers and citizens on a job well done.”

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