Unclaimed Mercedes Native’s Remains to Receive Military Honors
UPDATE (5/25): The veteran's stepdaughter was tracked down.
Frank Solis' cremated remains were found inside a storage unit in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Fayette County coroner tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS Solis' stepdaughter is requesting his remains be buried in a national cemetery in Kentucky. The coroner is also working to get in touch with Solis' niece before that happens.
A final decision on what happens to his remains is expected next week.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Remains of a U.S. Air Force veteran, who once called the Rio Grande Valley home, continue unclaimed.
Mercedes native Frank Solis’ remains were found after a bill went unpaid in a storage unit in Lexington, Kentucky.
Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said he doesn’t know how long the remains were inside the unit.
“The unit was sold and then the person who purchased the unit found the cremated remains in the unit,” he explained. “It’s just a sad situation. So, we’re hoping to get the cremated remains back where they need to go.”
Ginn along with several others are helping to put together the pieces of Solis’ life.
“We know that Mr. Solis was married. We know that he was married twice. His last wife Linda died prior to him,” he said.
Back home, Hidalgo County Veteran Services officer Felix Rodriguez took a look at Solis’ 1948 service picture.
“He could’ve served the country between both wars, during that period. Between World War II and Korea,” he said.
Rodriguez said Solis’ rank is identifiable in one of two patches on his shoulder. He said more information about his time in the military can be found in his discharge papers; information only available to next of kin.
“The VA is bound by HIPPA, of course, to not disclose any information,” he said.
Ginn said Solis’ remains will eventually be buried.
“What will happen if I am not able to find Mr. Solis’ relatives? I’ll see to it that Mr. Solis is buried in one of our national cemeteries through the Kentucky Department of Veteran Affairs,” he said.
Rodriguez said he’s thankful the military veteran will not be laid to rest dishonored.
“No veteran should go without those military graveside honors at all,” he said.
Ginn said they are following up on at least one more lead on Solis’ next of kin.
If you believe you know where to find his family, you can call the Fayette County coroner at 859-455-5700.
** CORRECTION: Frank Solis’ birth date is 06/05/1929
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