WARSAW — Kosciusko County’s coroner will have his own facility up and running this summer.
Traditionally, Coroner Tony Ciriello and previous office holders have depended largely on funeral homes and the local hospital to help coordinate services.
Funeral homes have provided space to do autopsies on a moment’s notice and an area hospital has provided space to hold a body, but only if there was room available.
The county was able to acquire the old veterinary hospital operated by the late Dr. Greg Sasso at 1257 W. Lake St. and has hired Clint Davis Construction, of Leesburg, to entirely renovate the interior.
Ciriello’s office has been in the basement of the annex building, a former church north of the county Justice Building.
The future facility is ideal, Ciriello said.
With the new facility, the coroner will be able to conduct autopsies on site, have an area set aside for families of the deceased and have a cooler that can hold up to eight bodies.
“We don’t need that much, but when I compared the cost of eight bodies with four bodies, it wasn’t that much more,” Ciriello said.
Purchase of the property was $75,000. Renovations are expected to cost $41,000.
“The Sasso family was very generous in wanting to sell it to us and making the county a good deal,” Ciriello said.
Given the size of the county and the proximity to US 30 where numerous people are killed each year, the establishment of a coroner’s office seems necessary. Ciriello listed several counties in northern Indiana with much smaller populations that have coroner facilities.