County coroner looking for new office, morgue

The Johnson County coroner’s office is leaving the county-owned hospital.

Currently, the county coroner’s office oversees autopsies conducted as part of a death investigation at Johnson Memorial Hospital, but a growing number of death investigations means the coroner is running out of space.

The coroner’s office handled 126 death investigations last year and oversaw 32 autopsies. Annual increases of unexpected, not witnessed or unnatural deaths reflect the county’s growing population and should continue, Coroner Craig Lutz said. Ten years ago, the county coroner’s office investigated 61 deaths and performed 23 autopsies, he said.

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