Riverside County Sheriff Coroner technician April
Smith pauses a moment before moving several bodies around in the cold storage
crypt. "The day can get grueling at times" said Smith.
It's gruesome work that few people ever think about. These men and women who
are employed by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department are deputies, but
the calls they go on aren't the typical robberies or drug busts. They take on
the responsibility of picking up dead bodies, identifying them and then informing
the families. It's one of the many emotional tasks employees at the coroner's
office do every day. Pathologists and coroner technicians come face to face
with accident victims, suicide victims and violent crime victims during
examinations and autopsies to determine the causes of death. And then the
cycle begins anew the next day. They toil these thankless jobs day after day
dealing with the dead.