Coroner’s office seeks additional funding to finish the year

The Bartholomew County Coroner’s office is seeking additional money from the county to finish out the year to cover an increasing number of death investigations.

Coroner Clayton Nolting told Bartholomew County Council members Monday his office is seeking an additional $14,016 for its 2017 budget to pay for an increasing number of coroner’s death investigations, slightly linked to the increasing number of local opioid overdoses.

Nolting and Deputy Coroner Jay Frederick told Bartholomew County Council members Monday that the previous coroner had budgeted to cover 115 investigative coroner’s cases in 2017, but the office is already over that for this year. They estimate the total case numbers could be at 145 or more by the end of the year.

The additional appropriation would cover the additional cases this year and also cover a backlog in paying for some earlier cases in the year, Frederick said.

As of last weekend, the coroner’s office had 132 cases for this year, with 26 of them involving fatal overdoses, Frederick said. That compares to 12 fatal overdoses in 2016 and six in 2015, he said.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.