Friday, January 13, 2012

Marion County Coroner's Office Needs To Be Investigated - Rotting Corpses Exposed By Whistleblower Video

I missed this report by WRTV report Jack Rinehart until I read Gary Welsh's post about it on his blog, Advance Indiana.  The Marion County Coroner is an elected official, Dr. Frank Lloyd.  He was not interviewed for Rinehart's report.

Employee(s) of the Marion County Coroner's Office video taped the conditions inside a refrigerated storage area and sent it to WRTV along with a note. 
In an accompanying letter, the anonymous employee said that some bodies have been at the morgue for more than a year, and that blood and bodily fluids have leaked onto the floor, making for unsafe and unsanitary working conditions.
The video confirms the written claim.

This is truly horrendous and unforgivable treatment of the dead by the Coroner.  There should be a full investigation of the conditions within that Office and full examination of their policies and procedures.

I find it incomprehensible that Chief Deputy Coroner Alfarena Ballew finds on-site decomposition of human remains more humane and respectful than cremation.  She says
"That would be heartless to say, 'If you don't get this body out of here, we're going to cremate this body,'" she said. "No, we can't do that."
Former employee John Linehan, who was interviewed for the report, said
"It's no wonder people would complain about the smell or the sight," he said. "Some of the bags are open. There are body parts that are exposed through the bags. It would be horrible to work under those conditions."
He summed it up best when he said
"Whoever wrote that letter was right. There's rotting flesh that's visible here. The smell must be horrendous," he said. "To have them laying out and exposed not only seems to me to be a health hazard to those who work there, it's just not being respectful."
This cannot be tolerated by a civilized City.  The conditions at the morgue must be fully investigated and consideration of charges should at least be reviewed and evaluated.


Allison said...

Remind me why this is a partisan office? Shouldn't it be the absolute best person for the job, party be damned?

Bill said...

Alfanena needs to hit the road. She basically blew this off as no big deal. This woman is dangerous and needs to be fired today

Had Enough Indy? said...

Allison -- Paul Ogden suggests the Coroner is a Constitutional office. Still... You make a great point.

Anonymous said...

When my son died last summer, we called to ask if they would do an autopsy. I was told they were not doing one. I called back 2 weeks or so later and was told the death cert was waiting on the autopsy report. I mentioned being told no autopsy and she said yes, waiting on report. Called back a 3rd time and was told no autopsy was done. I also sent an email from their webpage which was never answered. Nobody cared.