A cemetery was barred from holding new burials after state investigators found the cremated remains of as many as 4,000 people stacked in storage rooms and tossed in a trash bin.
Inspectors found some remains during a search Wednesday of Grand View Memorial Park in the northeastern Los Angeles suburb.
Investigators believe some of the remains date back to the 1930s and belonged to people who died indigent or without next of kin.
"These were probably people whose family never picked up the ashes," said Kevin Flanagan, a spokesman for the state Department of Consumer Affairs Cemetery and Funeral Bureau.
"It's not unusual for a cemetery to get these kinds of remains," he said. "The problem is you're supposed to be burying them."
"These remains will be treated with the dignity they deserve and disposed of properly," he said.