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Coroner's office has broken body cooler

Sarah Ramsey

On top of needing a new facility, Hamilton County's Coroner has a new problem -  one of the county's two body coolers broke over the weekend.

The county coroner, Lakshmi Sammarco, told the county commissioners this morning that the compressor on the cooler went out around 3:45 p.m. Saturday.

Sammarco said the estimated repair cost would be $20,000.

For now her office has moved all the bodies into the backup cooler which is normally used only for decomposed remains.

Sammarco says the cooler can hold up to 30 bodies maximum. There are about 20 bodies currently in the morgue. The usual average is 25, Sammarco says. The Coroner's office is asking local jurisdictions responsible for some of the indigent or unclaimed remains to come collect them.

Sammarco said the office may have to bring in a rented mobile morgue. That, however, will likely also require generator power. The current morgue is at its electric limit.