Backlog of autopsy reports

KIMT News 3 – The Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office is reporting a backlog of autopsies in the state.

The Bremer County Sheriff’s Office says the delay played a part in why it took months to identify the body of Plainfield woman Cloris Mehmen.

Mehmen, an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s, went missing in July. According to the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office, they found what they believed to be Mehmen’s remains in October, but it took until Wednesday to complete the autopsy.

Those with the state examiner’s office say there is a shortage of workers and a high number of cases. Local law enforcement says this can cause issues for folks looking for closure regarding a loved one.

“From what I understand, there are sometimes there are 20 to 30 autopsies that need to be preformed. If it takes an extended period of time, and if it is an ongoing investigation, it is just going to take that much longer to get the results back,” says Chief Deputy Dave Hepperly with the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office. “I think everyone needs to know that they’re making sure that they’re doing a complete and thorough autopsy and they’re doing the best they can.”

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