Last week I had a chance to take a tour of our local morgue. The things that mystery writers consider interesting! The pathology technician showed me the whole layout and answered my myriad questions. Ours is a small morgue with only one table. Plans are underway to build a new coroner’s office and expanded the morgue within the next several years.
I duly donned a pair of blue Nitrile gloves. I was not witnessing an autopsy, only viewing the empty room. The cold storage area contained one decedent in a body bag.
Here are a few tidbits I picked up:
- The autopsy team extensively photographs the process before and along the way.
- The coroner notifies the next of kin of initial findings.
- Toxicology reports take three to ten weeks.
- The decedent can’t be released until identification is confirmed.
- The body bag is kept locked with an identification code before the autopsy and returned to a body bag afterwards with a new lock.
- They take fingerprints after the autopsy.