300 Bodies Stacked At Morgue In Cook County

It’s a horrific scene in Chicago as 300 bodies were found stacked up at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office that were found stored away in coolers at a local morgue last January. The Funeral Directors Association and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago will bury 300 at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery for a proper burial. The remains were found stockpiled in the morgue’s coolers, some doubled up on trays, outraging many in the community.

A few families complained that the Medical Examiner’s Office, which is led by Dr. Nancy L. Jones, had turned them away while searching for loved ones, only to find their family members in the morgue all along.

The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Catholic Cemeteries offered graves and services to help clear the backlog of remains.   

When commissioners asked last month why the offer wasn’t accepted sooner, an administrator said the county wanted to make certain no individuals were buried in Catholic plots whose families wanted them buried elsewhere.

Last month, the Cook County Board approved measures making it easier to fire the chief medical examiner, who until now has enjoyed a virtual lifetime appointment. 

Cook County, Illinois, officials say they are being forced to change morgue procedures due to an overflow of unclaimed bodies. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

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