Rural county starting morgue to handle overdose deaths

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. (AP) – A rural western Indiana county is setting up its first-ever county-owned morgue in response to an increase in drug overdose deaths.

Montgomery County Coroner Darren Forman says the county has relied on the Crawfordsville hospital to help store bodies, but its two-space morgue is often filled. He says relying on area funeral homes to help out isn’t ideal.

The (Crawfordsville) Journal Review reports that the County Council has approved buying a cooler that can hold up to eight corpses. The new equipment will be installed in a county-owned facility now undergoing renovations.

Forman says bodies of overdose victims often need to be stored longer because their deaths are unexpected and families haven’t made funeral plans.

Officials say the county has had at least nine opioid-related deaths this year.