Friday, February 18, 2022

Forget It Jake, It's Baltimore

 WMAR2, Baltimore, Morgue operating in Baltimore parking garage as 200 bodies await autopsy

The Maryland Office of Chief Medical Examiner is experiencing an unprecedented backlog of autopsies. The delays mean families are having to wait weeks to say goodbye to their loved ones who were murdered or overdosed.

“The bodies are piling up and decaying right in front of everyone’s eyes,” said Patrick Moran, President of AFSCME Council 3, which has members who are autopsy assistants and forensic investigators. “Bodies are decomposing and that’s not the way to treat those that have lost their lives and families who are looking for closure.”

More than 200 bodies are awaiting autopsy. Moran said members of the union describe a gruesome scene at the agency in Baltimore, which is responsible for investigating violent or suspicious deaths, including all deaths unattended by a physician.

“It’s pretty vile and it’s pretty unhealthy,” said Moran.

Running out of space, the Maryland Department of Health converted a parking garage downtown into a morgue until a permanent expansion can be built.

“The additional storage that has been provided allows adequate capacity decedents that may be awaiting autopsy as well as decedents who are completed and awaiting funeral homes,” said Dr. Jinlene Chan, Deputy Secretary of MDH, at a House subcommittee meeting last week.

Dr. Chan said the backlog has been rising for the last few weeks. It’s caused by high vacancy rates (17.2 percent in December) and increasing numbers of murders and drug overdoses, which are resource-intensive cases.

It's like a third world country up there. 


  1. My Dad use to joke that we needed a fence around Baltimore and Washington D.C., that way we would have a state and national zoo.