SIDNEY (July 2, 2024) -- Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub announced Monday, July 1, that on July 13, Regional West Medical Center will cease having forensic Pathologist.

Dr. Pete Schilke is retiring, leaving Cheyenne County without a forensic pathologist.

"Dr. Pete Schilke, who is known throughout the state for his great work, is retiring. I have been looking at places that would provide those services; not only forensic pathology, we're talking about autopsies, but also coroner call transportation services. Currently, the coroner call transportation services are handled through the funeral home," Schaub said.

He said funeral homes will not be able to go beyond what they are doing now. 

"The closest facility for forensic pathology is a joint facility in Larimer and Weld County, Colorado. I've been talking to their representative, Steven Hanks. I was hoping to have a proposed agreement in place today. Their team is still looking at it, but I should have that soon," Schaub told the commissioners.

He said he doesn't have an agreement yet. He added Larimer/Weld County does not provide transportation services. He said the closest facility offering transportation is in Denver. That service would cost about $900 per transport. He said if Cheyenne County wants to keep services in Nebraska, forensic pathology would be done in Omaha. 

Commissioner Chairman Darrell Johnson asked Schaub if he has talked with any other funeral directors in the Panhandle area. He said he has not. He questioned if there is a need for a forensic pathologist on every call. Schaub said on the average Cheyenne County has 10 to 15 autopsies annually. 

The commissioners agreed to table the decision, wait for a response from the Larimer/Weld County facility. Schaub said the county will not be locked in a long contract with Larimer/Weld County. He said they work with some entities in Wyoming similar to a case-by-case.