Madison County coroner pleads for morgue as storage for bodies reaches capacity

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ANDERSON, Ind. — Madison County is running out of space to store dead bodies.

Right now, the county coroner’s office is working with hospitals and funeral homes to find additional space.

“The last thing we want in Madison County is to stack dead bodies,” said Madison County Coroner Dr. Troy Abbott.

Despite having more than 130,000 residents, Madison County does not have a morgue.

“We do not have a space to store the bodies,” Abbott said. “We do not have vehicles to transport the dead.”

Abbott says the current storage space amounts to just four units in total between St. Vincent’s and Community Hospital in Anderson. 

On Thursday, Dr. Abbott said the storage had hit full capacity, which led to an emergency approval process for a cooler to harbor additional bodies. Dr. Abbott said it is only approved for 90 days, and a more permanent solution is needed. 

“This a very large county. We are the sixth busiest coroner’s office in the state,” Dr. Abbott noted.

He’s asking the county commissioners to earmark part of the COVID-19 relief funds for a morgue.

We asked county commissioners and city council about this request and are still waiting on a response. We will continue to look into the allocation of FEMA funds in Madison County and the continued discussions for a morgue. 

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