Non-natural deaths locally on the rise Coroner said

Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen

(Lander, Wyo.) – Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen told the Fremont County Commissioners this week the number of cases his office handles “have spiked notably after a downward trend in 2018.”

Of the 169 recorded deaths in the first half of 2019, Stratmoen said 76 were Coroner cases, compared with 69 at this same time last year. He said the total number of “non-natural” cases, including accident, homicide, suicide and undetermined cause, amounted to 42 percent of the coroner’s caseload. He said that represented “a substantial increase from 25 percent in 2018” at the same time.

Specifically,

• The number of accidental deaths is 22, ten more than the first half of 2018

• The number of deaths by suicide is five, one more than the first half of 2018.

• The number of deaths by homicide is five, four more than the first half of 2018.

Stratmoen reported that there have been eight vehicular deaths so far in 2019, five more than the first half of 2018 when three deaths occurred.

• Five 2019 deaths were drug and/or alcohol-related, one is pending toxicology test results.

• Two of the eight were pedestrian deaths.

• One motorcycle death.

In reference to deaths from Drugs and Alcohol use, Stratmoen reported:

• Drugs and Alcohol-related deaths in the first half of 2019 account for 31 percent of all coroner cases, and 66 percent of the non-natural deaths. This is down a bit from the 33 percent in non-natural deaths for the first half of 2018.

• Drugs and/or alcohol were involved in five of five homicides, in four of five suicides, and 55 percent of the accidental deaths.

• Alcohol remains the number one drug in related deaths (16). Cannabis returns to #2 with five, Methamphetamines are up to #3 with three and Opiates has dropped down to zero for the first half of 2019.