Teen becomes Indiana’s youngest coroner

PORTLAND, Ind. – With her father as a role model and a love of the television show “CSI,” a high school senior has become Indiana’s youngest certified death investigator.

Amanda Barnett, 18, was certified last month and is one of four deputy coroners working for her father, Jay County Coroner Mark Barnett.

“It’s kind of weird to (my friends),” she said. “To other people it’s disgusting, but I think it’s interesting, and somebody’s got to do it.”

Amanda Barnett said her goal has been to follow in her father’s footsteps since his first campaign for coroner 15 years ago, and she has attended numerous coroner conventions with him. Her father accompanied her on some of her first calls.

“I’ll ask her what she’s doing and why,” Mark Barnett said. “She might catch something that I don’t think of.”

She had to receive special permission to attend a certification class given by the Indiana State Coroners Training Board because she was only 17 when it began. She scored 97 percent on the test, submitted four case reports and attended an autopsy.

“I think it’s great that someone her age is interested in the field,” said Lisa Barker, executive director of the state training board. “She was a very good student.”

Barnett will soon graduate from high school, and she said she plans to attend Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in the fall to become a forensic nurse examiner.


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