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Saturday, November 19, 2005

What Else Have They Lost?

The Philadelphia Medical Examiner's office has apologized because, for two years, it had a body in its freezers and neglected to match it up with a missing persons report filed within 2-3 months of the body being found.

The city's recently promoted Health Department chief, Joanne Godly, apologized for the oversight and estimated the medical examiner handles about 5,000 bodies per year. But, to her credit, she did say even one case like this is too many.

Now I am a numbers cruncher and that 5,000 estimate sounds awful high to me!! That would be 100 per week or about 14-15 per day!

There are about 16,000 deaths per year in Philadelphia and if Godley's estimate is accurate, that would mean almost 1 of every 3 dead bodies is handled by the medical examiner's office. Let's say there are 500 murders per year in the city, where are the other 4,500 bodies coming from??

The PA state health department website estimated there were 15,696 deaths in 2004 in its preliminary statistics. I have provided the link below to the story.

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