Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Unclaimed remains of veteran killed on bicycle in Tampa to be buried in Bushnell

TAMPA — Thanks to inquiries from concerned strangers, the unclaimed ashes of a man killed in a bicycle crash will be buried at a veterans cemetery with military honors instead of being unceremoniously scattered in the Gulf of Mexico.

Edward Allen Weber, 63, died Nov. 16 when a Jeep Cherokee rear-ended his bicycle on U.S. 41. The Florida Highway Patrol spent more than a month trying to locate relatives without success. His body was cremated Dec. 27.

The next step would have been to spread the ashes in the gulf, standard practice for unclaimed remains. But after the St. Petersburg Times reported on Weber's case, several people called the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office and a Tampa funeral home seeking to arrange a burial.

David Miller, a veteran and national hospital representative for the American Legion at Bay Pines VA Medical Center, said he read the story and on Wednesday called the funeral home, Florida Mortuary Funeral and Cremation Services, and arranged for Weber to be buried at Florida National Cemetery near Bushnell.

Many of those who inquired about Weber thought it was not right for a veteran's remains to discarded in the gulf without ceremony and sought a more proper burial.

"Veterans stick together, man," Miller said.

Funeral director Ron Mees said Weber's ashes will be held for 120 days after his cremation in case a relative steps forward, as state law requires.

After that, Miller said he will pick up the ashes at the Medical Examiner's Office and ensure that Weber is buried with military honors at Florida National Cemetery near Bushnell.

The Medical Examiner's Office cremates about 600 bodies a year. Many of those bodies arrive without information about next of kin, but authorities usually find someone anyway, said Dick Bailey, a medical examiner spokesman. Still, about five each month are unclaimed and the ashes spread in the gulf because relatives could not be found or they could not afford a burial.

Ileana Morales can be reached at (813) 226-3386 or

Unclaimed remains of veteran killed on bicycle in Tampa to be buried in Bushnell 01/05/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 10:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hurricane Maria's winds hit 175 mph as it aims at Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria barreled toward Puerto Rico on Tuesday night after wreaking widespread devastation on Dominica and leaving the small Caribbean island virtually …

    A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  2. Another Hollywood nursing home resident dies. It's the 9th in post-Irma tragedy.

    State Roundup

    The Broward County Medical Examiner's office is investigating another death of a resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills — the ninth blamed on the failure of a cooling system that became a stifling deathtrap three days after Irma hit.

    Carlos Canal, pictured at 47 years old, came to Miami from Cuba in 1960. Above is his citizenship photo. [Courtesy of Lily Schwartz]
  3. Hillsborough School Board approves 2017-18 budget


    TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday approved a budget of $2.83 billion for the 2017-18 school year.

    Photo illustration. []
  4. All Eyes photo gallery: 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 79, collapses buildings in Mexico


    A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 79 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped. The quake came less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south, and it …

    Rescuers work on a collapsed building on Amsterdam Avenue in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck, Sept. 19, 2017. Dozens have been reported killed across the country, including 42 in the state of Morelos, close to the epicenter of the quake, and at least 20 buildings in Mexico City have collapsed. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times) XNYT169
  5. Rays video tribute to ex-manager Joe Maddon upon return with Cubs


    Here is the Rays video tribute to former manager Joe Maddon, who returned to the Trop for the first time on Tuesday with his Cubs team: