Starke County Commissioners Discuss Options for Coroner Space

Glove factory
Part of the former Pariso Industrial Glove Manufacturing Company building in Knox could soon be converted into morgue space for the Starke County Coroner’s office.

The Starke County Commissioners are still trying to find permanent space for the coroner’s office. It’s presently located at the old jail across from the courthouse. However, that space is due to be renovated later this year into offices for Starke County Community Corrections, the probation department and Purdue Extension.

Eventually the coroner may share space with the Starke County EMS base in Knox. It’s presently located behind Starke Hospital on Main Street but may have to be moved to accommodate construction of a new hospital on the site. The county and hospital are still negotiating terms of a new lease. Commissioner Kathy Norem said Monday it may be a couple of years before the ambulance garage needs to be relocated.

Coroner Dannie Hoffer does not have money in his budget to rent a facility. The commissioners suggested converting part of the former glove factory on Cleveland Street in Knox into a morgue until more permanent arrangements can be made. They charged Hoffer and Council President Freddie Baker with looking into the cost to configure and secure the space.

Historically one of the county’s funeral directors has also served as coroner and used his own space for body storage and identification.