There is room to rent at the Wayne County Morgue -- 50,000 square feet. They have plenty of parking, modern furniture, refrigerators to die for, private rooms and oodles and oodles of bodies. Who could possibly want such a place?
The University of Michigan!
Call it a macabre barometer of the economic times. Wayne County has bodies, too many bodies, coolers full of bodies, but not enough money to deal with them.
The Michigan Medical School has money, bags full of money, and a new program to train doctors in forensic pathology -- death detectives, if you will.
The problem is they have no corpses to train on.
The solution? FOX 2 has learned that the county and the university are in negotiations to turn the morgue into a sort of corner's classroom.
"We're in an era now where money is tight. We're looking at alternative ways of doing things, and this is a way of looking at shared services. They're one of the best medical schools and facilities in the country," said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.
He would not say what those shared services are, only that they could save the county as much as one million dollars a year.
However, an internationally renowned doctor of death said Detroit's dark cloud of murder just may have a silver lining.
"To put it bluntly, the bodies are here and that is teaching material. You can make experts here that supply the rest of the country with people that do this kind of work," said Wayne State University Forensic Pathology Professor Dr. Werner Spitz.
No teaching morgue exists in America, so if this deal does go down, Detroit could be famous for something more than cars, and the county executive assures us that it will be done right.