Donate to the American Red Cross to help Hurricane Florence victims

Veteran May Finally Be Buried After 4 Months In Morgue

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Shawnee County, KS. (WIBW) — Thanks to a tip from a 13 News viewer, a veteran, whose body lay in a Shawnee Co. morgue for the past four months, should soon find his final resting place.

On Monday, we received the disturbing news tip: No one ever made arrangements for 64 year-old Charles Perry Thompson, a veteran who died in a Topeka motel last August, and he still was in the morgue.

The caller, Tina Alejos, said she made quick friends with Thompson. He even gave her a necklace, which she still wears close to her heart.

“It just rips out your heart when you know someone who is sitting there touched your heart 5 months ago, and you know he is gone and nobody is stepping up,” Alejos said.

Thompson had stayed at the Topeka Rescue Mission in the past.

“Charles was with us for about 16 days, and 3 different occasions, back in 2008, very short amount of time, someone who has served our country, and as I understand honorably discharged,” said Barry Feaker, Executive Director of Topeka Rescue Mission.

When a veteran’s family does not make funeral arrangements, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) will step up to help. Any veteran with a DD Form 214 showing a honorable discharge from military service can be buried at a national cemetery with military honors.

The main concern now is getting Thompson’s body to a national cemetery or a state veteran cemetery.

After contacting the VA, their representatives told us they are seeing what they what they can do to make sure Thompson is buried properly this week — something Alejos said he deserves:

“He was loveable. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it,” she said.

A disturbing fact from this investigation was that there are still a dozen bodies in the Shawnee Co. morgue. The coroner said he wasn’t sure how many were veterans, but like Thompson, they will remain there until someone arranges to have them laid to rest.