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Spiraling homicide rate creates space issues at Marion County morgue

Violent crime surge hits Marion County Coroner’s Office

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis is on track for a record-breaking year of homicides.

It’s one reason the Marion County coroner’s morgue is full.

Behind its cold brick walls, the Marion County Coroner’s Office is the evidence of a brutal start to the year. The murder rate so far has caught almost everyone by surprise.

“From what I have seen, every day people are waking up saying we have got to stop this, we need to address poverty, we have to address economic development issues. We have to address a whole host of things,” said Paul Annee, a Republican serving District 23 on the City-County Council.

Every weekend, it’s the same flashing red and blue lights across the city. The city has witnessed more than 30 homicides so far this year. That tally includes four young adults shot in an apartment complex and six people murdered over the past weekend. The grim reality is the coroner doesn’t have enough space to handle this crisis.

“We don’t want to be known as a city that has a morgue that is overflowing, that is record-breaking murder year after record-breaking murder year, and that is what we are finding ourselves in,” Annee said.

In 2010, the Marion County morgue was full. That was when the opioid crisis was just taking hold in central Indiana. Back then, the coroner shipped bodies to alternate sites until the staff could catch up. Now, the coroner’s office is back in the same position, shipping our loved ones to another site until the staff can catch up.

Mayor Joe Hogsett, Chief of Police Randal Taylor and U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler are having a couple of public safety events Wednesday.

A news conference is set for 10:30 a.m. at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Regional Operations Center to announce an expanded partnership between federal and local law enforcement.

At 12:30 p.m., Hogsett will join Shonna Majors, the city’s community violence reduction director, and leaders of the Office of Public Health and Safety at VOICES Inc., a day treatment program that provides weekdays workshops and services to court-appointed boys in middle and high schools.

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