Coroner sees spike in natural deaths, homicides, overdoses

The Bartholomew County Coroner’s office saw significant increases in homicides and overdoses last year, but the largest increase was in the number of natural deaths investigated in the county.

The coroner’s office released its annual report for 2020 this week, which showed 31 deaths from overdoses, an increase over the previous record of 30 set in 2017. According to County Coroner Clayton Nolting, there were five homicides last year in the county, up from the one in 2017, none in 2018 and two in 2019.

But the number of natural deaths investigated by the coroner’s office increased to 125 last year compared to 94 in both 2017 and 2018, and 89 in 2019.

According to Nolting’s report, there were some bright spots as the number of suicides decreased in 2020 from 16 the previous year to 12 last year. And there were no deaths of children to be investigated last year, compared to six in 2019 and 5 in each of the two prior years.

You can read the entire 2020 Bartholomew County Coroner’s Report here.