UK & World News

  • 8 August 2014, 11:04

Jonestown Massacre Remains Discovered

The cremated remains of nine victims of a notorious 1970s mass cult suicide-murder have been found at a former funeral home in the US state of Delaware.

Officials were notified last week when dozens of containers were discovered on the shuttered premises in Dover. 

The urns and canisters were passed to the state's Division of Forensic Science, which is now attempting to identify the "cremains" and notify relatives.

Officials went to the former funeral home to investigate the 38 containers, 33 of which were marked and nine of which contained Jonestown remains.

More than 900 American followers of Jim Jones' communist-inspired People's Temple died in the 1978 massacre.

Afterwards, the bodies were brought to Dover Air Force Base, home of the US military's largest mortuary.

Some of the dead were transferred to local undertakers for disposal.

The Minus Funeral Home shut down in 2012 and the owner subsequently died. A bank has since taken ownership of the vacant building.

Dover police Cpl Mark Hoffman told Sky News it is thought the bodies were cremated upon return to the US.

"The assumption is these are Jonestown remains that were not claimed at the time," he said.

"All remains were properly stored on the premises and there is nothing to suggest abuse of a corpse or anything of a criminal nature."

The massacre took place in a rainforest settlement that sect leader Jim Jones named after himself in Guyana, South America.

He made hundreds of his followers drink a "Kool-Aid" of grape punch laced with cyanide, while others were shot or had their throats cut.

The cult leader himself was found shot dead.

Advertisement