Drug deaths and murders strain medical examiner’s office

BALTIMORE — The Maryland medical examiner’s office is facing an increasing workload from opioid deaths and murders.

But it’s also scrambling to fill staff vacancies that include the recent departure of the state’s longtime and well-regarded chief medical examiner.

The Baltimore Sun reported Friday that the office is at risk of losing its accreditation. The agency investigates about a third of all deaths in the state.

The office is part of the state Department of Health.

It says it has raised pay to recruit more staff.

The number of active pathologists has been on the decline for years. And officials say the shortage is likely to get worse.

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