Probe Targets Alleged Morgue Thefts

Friday, September 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Authorities are investigating allegations that some city morgue workers stole credit cards and other valuables from bodies and homes of the deceased.

About 20 workers received subpoenas Thursday ordering them to appear before a federal grand jury Sept. 12, The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted an unidentified worker as saying.

``Obviously, we're very concerned about any allegations,'' said Walter H. Tsou, the city's health commissioner. He released few details about the investigation.

The U.S. attorney's office and local law enforcement agents are conducting the probe.

Some workers under suspicion went to houses where a death had been reported before an investigator arrived, taking items ``that they thought wouldn't be missed,'' the newspaper quoted an unidentified employee as saying.

The Medical Examiner's Office handles about 3,000 cases a year, most involving homicide, accidents, suicides or drug overdoses. Between 300 and 600 cases require on-site reports from an investigator, a spokesman said.