A medical examiner is Canada is being investigated for stashing dead bodies in a refrigerated lorry outside the coroner’s office, according to reports.
It comes after the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation showed a video of a man in a black suit, who is believed to be an employee at an unidentified funeral home in Edmonton, dragging a body out of the back of the lorry with the help of a man who the network reported to work for the medical examiner’s office.
It appears that the funeral employee is dragging the body bag onto a gurney, one of 17 bodies the CBC claims were inside the chilled lorry at the time of filming.
As per the New York Post, Alberta Justice spokesman, Dan Levine, said:
Dignity is expected to be shown at all times to the deceased, and (medical examiner’s office) guidelines appear to not have been followed.
It is always a priority of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to ensure the deceased in their care are treated with the utmost dignity and respect.
The claims of how one of the deceased in our care was handled are very concerning and we are currently investigating.
It’s reported the lorry was rented on Friday after the coroner’s storage facility reached its full capacity following a huge influx of new deaths in the Edmonton area.
Employees working in the medical examiner’s office are believed to have raised concerns over the storage method to chief medical examiner Elizabeth Brooks-Lim, who is reported to have dismissed the complaints, telling staff, ‘we cannot turn bodies away.’
As per New York Post, Brooks-Lim said her office was in the process of finding a longer-term solution to the sudden influx of bodies.
In Canada, medical examiners must be medical doctors, but not necessarily forensic pathologists. Their job is to understand why a person died. They must answer five questions: Who was the deceased? When did they die? Where did they die? How? (What was the medical cause of their death?) And by what means did they die – natural causes, accident, homicide, suicide or undetermined?
It’s unknown whether the bodies in the lorry had already been examined by the coroner.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.