Horry County Coroner’s Office working in cramped quarters

CONWAY, SC (WBTW)-      The Horry County Coroner’s Office needs more space. The department operates out of three offices and a narrow storage room.

“This is where we’ve been for 10 years and we’ve grown a lot since then,” said Coroner Robert Edge.

With seven employees and only three offices, Edge says privacy is a big problem.

The Coroner’s Office investigates all deaths that happen outside of physicians care. They also handle death certificates, burial transit forms and cremation permits.

“Sometimes people come in here and we don’t have space to sit them down and talk to them,” explained Edge.

He says they perform a little over 200 autopsies a year and typically store bodies at Grand Strand Medical Center. When the hospital is full, Edge says he asks local funeral homes to make room.

“So we spend a lot of time shuffling around and calling around and seeing who’s got some space we could borrow for a few hours or a day,” he said. “If we had our own morgue and cooler set up that would solve our problem.”

According to Edge,  they have about $30,000 set aside in the budget to buy their own cooler, but nowhere to put it. The top shelf of their storage closet is taken up by 60 unclaimed cremains.

“Storage and space is a big problem for us,” he stated. “It’s just not adequate anymore.”

Assistant County Administrator Justin Powell tells me they’ve submitted a budget request for more space. Right now, the Coroner’s Office is working with HGTC to expand their criminal justice program and set up a forensic pathology lab on campus, but Edge says it’s in the very early stages.

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