PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The District 1 medical examiner says her office is in desperate need of a new facility with more space.
This is the only district in Florida without a facility dedicated strictly to the medical examiner. District 1 employees operate out of a 4,000 square-foot space at Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola.
Medical Examiner Deanna Oleske showed some pictures at an Escambia County Commission meeting late last week. The viewing room is now a cramped office space. The conference room is full of equipment and supplies. She said a lack of space has caused delayed autopsies and delayed funeral services for many families.
Billy Snowden is the one who delivers bodies to the medical examiner’s office. He said if they don’t get more space, it could get worse than what he’s seeing now.
“If they don’t have space, a place where they can do their job properly, then there could be any kind of contamination, stacking of bodies,” Snowden said.
Others showed up to the commission meeting to support the medical examiner’s office including a Pensacola detective who says Dr. Oleske deserves what she’s asking for.
“She single-handedly helped us solve many many murders that, on face value, you’d think it was medical,” John Cramer said. “People would’ve gotten away with it. So keep that in consideration for Dr. O. If she says she needs a building, she needs a building.”
District 1 includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton County. There’s been discussion about a $24 million facility that all counties will help pay for and to put it in a more central location like Santa Rosa County. However this week, Escambia County leaders are expected to tour a vacant building at Ascension Sacred Heart. It’s not a new facility but could possibly be a bigger location for the medical examiner’s office.