DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A backlog of autopsies at the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office has been delaying the return of remains to family members.
It usually takes the office a day or two to complete an autopsy. But a spokeswoman for the office told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/2hSQHRd ) that in the past month, a 12 percent surge in cases coupled with an understaffed office has caused delays.
Polly Carver-Kimm, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Public Health, says that at one point in the past month, the office had 32 bodies awaiting autopsy and it took up to two weeks to release remains to funeral homes. She says the situation is “not typical.”
The office is budgeted for 11 full-time positions, but one position is open. It is expected to be filled.