By Ernie Over
The Fremont County Coroner’s Office in a monthly report to the County Commission said six autopsies were completed at the Lander Morgue during July, three for out-of-county agencies. Coroner Erin Ivie said her office charges $1,925 for a basic autopsy, but with a soon-to-be-added portable X-ray machine, the cost will increase, although that amount has not been finalized. “Other areas with an X-ray charge $700 per view. Many autopsies require more than one view, and if a child is involved, there are 12 views required, so it can get expensive,” she said. “So far this year, we’ve done autopsies for Teton, Carbon, Sublette, Natrona and Big Horn counties,” she said.
Ivie reported the cooler in the Lander Morgue has been down for nearly three weeks. “Building maintenance has been quick to respond and try to repair it; however, it remains out of commission,” she said. “That makes it very hot in there, especially when we are suited up in plastic for the autopsies.”
The number of coroner cases so far this year is at 90, one more than last year at the end of July. She said accidental deaths are seven ahead of last year at 24, suicides have numbered three compared to five at this time one year ago, and there have been two homicides, one more than in 2022.
The coroner said vehicular fatalities so far this year have totaled eight, the same as last year for the same period. “Drugs and/or alcohol use continues to be a common factor in a majority of these incidents [five of the eight],”she said.
On another topic, Ivie reported there have been no unclaimed burials so far this year, although her office has assisted with two direct burials at Riverton’s Mountain View Cemetery.
Ivie said her office has identified a potential site for a proposed new coroner’s facility, in Riverton. She said it is a former medical facility, which would be ideal for her use as many of the counters, shelving, drawers, cabinets and other fixtures could be repurposed for her use and most of the interior work could be done by building maintenance, she said. She noted the facility already has many amenities that she is looking for in a morgue/office space, including showers/eyewash/laboratory/meeting room/office space, which all could be retrofitted to the coroner’s needs with minimal cost compared to building new, plus there is room to grow, she explained.
The building was to be inspected this past week.