The Bay Area has always been home to the dying and nearly dead since the 1800s. It has been a Mecca for those in the undertaking trade for these very same reason. One of the Bay Area's better known morticians was a man called Jeremiah Fitch. His past is largely unknown, as records of his early life are unobtainable with the exception of his apprenticeship to a Dr. Travis Landry also known as Dr. Laudanum, a snake oil salesman from the mid 1800's.
Jeremiah left the good doctor to strike out on his own in 1877 when they were passing through the Bay Area. He was hired by the county to help perform autopsies and such. He used his savings to build a small but efficient funeral parlor on Hillview Cemetery's property.
Jeremiah was not very outspoken and never married. He attended the local Baptist church and was mildly active in community matters. It wasn't until 20 years after his disappearance in 1903 that the truth of his nature was discovered. During a state sponsored excavation of Hillview Cemetery, several graves were found to have coffins filled with stones and rubbish. Further examination of Finch's parlor reveled the presence of human DNA on his cooking utensils. It was from this evidence that it was concluded that Jeremiah Finch was an 'Eater of the Dead'.
Seminole legends state that eating specially prepared human remains is one way of achieving immortality. It is believed that this is why the actual population of Hillview graves are practically zero. This does not explain why remains interred previous to Jeremiah Finch's time are empty also.