Vanderburgh County sees rise in homicides

The end of 2017 is right around the corner and homicide numbers in Vanderburgh County have nearly tripled compared to years past.

The recent spike in homicide cases is creating a lot of extra work for Vanderburgh County officials.

The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nicholas Hermann told Eyewitness News that the county typically sees 6 or 7 homicides a year but this year the county has already seen 17.

There is no definitive answer as to why the increase has happened but the Vanderburgh County Sheriff, Prosecutor and Coroner believe the increase is connected to the opioid crisis.

"I think you look at the jail overcrowding, you look at increase in homicides you look at the increase in overdose deaths and you have to make a logical line between those" said Coroner Steve Lockyear.

Lockyear says his office is seeing a record high case load this year, handling 24 homicide cases.

The Coroners office sees more homicide cases than the Prosecutors office because if someone dies in Vanderburgh County from an incident that happened outside of the county -- it is his office that handles it.

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(This story was originally published December 7, 2017)

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