Sailing into Beyond
Pathologist Tricia Cottrell does autopsies at Johns Hopkins Hospital, but not all of them. “The state Medical Examiner [office] gets the hard cases of crimes, accidents, unreported sudden death, overdose, and child abuse. Overdose is a big one in Baltimore. The Medical Examiner’s team of doctors sets up in a large, well-lighted room, with a high ceiling, to begin cutting precisely at 9 a.m. every day. They can only tell what the evidence tells them.” Dr. Cottrell paused and added, “There’s a separate room for decomposition, where things are further along.” We sailed along the York, silently contemplating the scene.