The staff at the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner continue to tend to the dead—even if they don’t know where they’ll be doing their jobs next.
KAREN JAZOWSKI, MANAGER OF AUTOPSY SUPPORT: “The old space had the offices right next to where bodies were stored so if someone came in really decomposed and they slammed the drawers, everyone at their desk could smell it.”
JAMES CARUSO, CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: “You don’t need to be sterile for an autopsy. You just have to assume everyone has hepatitis and HIV because you don’t know.”
DONALD BELL, MANAGER OF INVESTIGATIONS: “We’re on the last shelf in storage. We have to figure out something to do with these things. The obvious choice would be to digitize them. But we’ll never get rid of the records.”
MICHELLE WEISS-SAMARAS, CHIEF DEPUTY CORONER: “The chief deputy coroner [at the time] said, ‘Women can’t do this.’ At first, I didn’t think it was something I was interested in, but then I got a little irked.”