Plans to build a morgue in Starke County are on hold. Coroner-Elect Adam Gray advised the county commissioners he will use the facilities at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth as necessary for body identification and storage. Should an autopsy be necessary, Gray says bodies will be taken directly to the site where that examination will be done.
It is unclear at this time how much it will cost Starke County to use the facilities in Marshall County. The commissioners referred that discussion to the county council. They also questioned why the county cannot use any of the available space at IU Health Starke Hospital for a morgue. President of the Commissioners Jennifer Davis plans to speak to hospital president Craig Felty again about that possibility.
Gray is the first non-funeral director to be elected coroner in several years. In the past, the coroner has used his own facilities for county business. Until a permanent morgue space can be found, the cooler owned by the county will be placed in storage. The commissioners had previously discussed building a no-frills space for the coroner next to the Starke County EMS base in Grovertown at the intersection of U.S. 30 and State Road 23.