Inside the room that houses the unclaimed dead at the Chester County coroner’s office | Maria Panaritis

November 10, 2018

By Staff

Christina VandePol was startled when she first walked into a locked room inside the Chester County Coroner’s Office. Small black boxes were stacked against a white cinder-block wall. Each had a label with a person’s name. The containers were four inches high in the evidence room. VandePol, a physician, had just become the first elected female coroner here, and was baffled.

“What is this?” she asked Patty Emmons, the office’s longtime right-hand woman. Emmons had done everything, from answering phones to investigating deaths to serving for a time as deputy coroner, over her eight years there.

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