Monterey County coroner’s officials conducted a burial ceremony at sea this week for more than 70 individuals who passed away in the county without family or known next of kin during the past two decades. The coroner’s office gathered the individuals’ remains to be scattered at sea off the coast of Monterey County aboard a boat donated for the ceremony, according to the sheriff’s office. The deceased were mostly people who had been homeless, indigent, or had no known next of kin that the coroner’s office was able to locate. The coroner’s office retains the remains of deceased people for varying periods, depending on the circumstances of each case. The duration is often determined by the possibility or lack of possibility that a family member may come forward to claim the remains for private burial. The 70 scattered at sea Tuesday reportedly passed away over the past 25 years, the oldest having died in 1984, according to the coroner’s office. Prior to their ocean burial, the deceased were blessed by Father Carl Faria of St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Marina.