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El Paso County jail inmates helping handle overflow of Covid-19 victims’ bodies at the morgue

inmates help at morgue
Inmates are seen helping move bodies at the morgue.

EL PASO, Texas -- Inmates from the El Paso County Detention Facility are assisting the Medical Examiner's Office by moving deceased bodies into mobile morgues.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego confirmed with ABC-7 that trustee inmates are helping morgue personnel who are overwhelmed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Trustee inmates are inmates with good behavior whose crimes are low-grade misdemeanors, and they work on a voluntary basis.

The EPSCO said four to eight inmates have been assisting everyday for eight hours since Monday.

Inmates are provided full personal protective equipment while they work, according to a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office who also said the inmates are accompanied by a sheriff's deputy and two jail detention officers.

Samaniego said the Medical Examiner's Office recently reached out for help. He said the assistance from inmates is only temporarily as the morgue awaits help from the Texas National Guard.

However, there's no word yet on when guardsmen are expected to arrive.

Samaniego said as of Saturday there were 145 bodies being held at the morgue facilities.

Ten mobile morgues have been sent to help with capacity at the morgue - but one is not operational. Samaniego said five of those are currently being used to store bodies.

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.



  1. Inmate fire fighting squads save millions of dollars worth of property and hundreds of lives during fire seasons in the west each year. They are our fellow citizens. Of course this is a concept lost to the Nazi filth of our nation.

  2. See what I mean? Jeff Allen prime example of Nazi filth. Soon to disappear. His fence coming down and him leaving El Paso and his failed brick business.

      1. Patriots don’t support a president who is a racist, who endangers the national security, who lies continually, or abuses immigrants. You sir, are the exact example of a despot taking refuge in patriotism. Your wall is coming down, you are going to be prosecuted along with the other Nazi filth who mishandled the funds sent in by the human trash who wanted a wall, and you are going to leave El Paso. These things are going to happen so get ready scumbag.

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