CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – The Horry County Coroner’s Office’s growing case load means many cases are taking longer to handle.

Coroner Robert Edge said what was once between 100 and 150 cases a month is now around 300.

“Every day, people are overdosing from street drugs,” Edge said. “It’s increased our load so much. Away from the drug scene, car accidents are up. Homicides are up. Suicides are up.”

Edge said that many of the cases now take longer to handle.

“When I first started, things were pretty simple back then,” he said. “I’d go to a home call. And if I didn’t know the family, I knew of them most likely.”

That’s now changed.

“Well today a lot of calls we go to are people who haven’t lived there all their lives,” he said. “Just moved in, sometimes six months, sometimes a few years. They don’t have any family here. They don’t know any funeral homes to call. And when you get involved in those situations, it takes more time and more follow up with them.”

Edge hopes that the council approves money for three new positions in the fiscal year 2023 budget. He wants another administrative staff member, along with two more deputy coroners.

“We went for a long time, and didn’t ask for a lot of things and now we’re trying to play catch up,” he said. “It’s like boom overnight. These people moved in and we’re behind.”

County council has approved the first reading of an ordinance that amends the current budget. It would increase the cremation permit fee from $25 to $50. The additional revenue would adjust the pay for the deputy coroner positions.

The ordinance still needs two more readings to pass.

Edge is also hoping to get a new facility in the coming years.