COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After eight years of autopsy analyses and guiding grieving families, the Franklin County Coroner is hanging up her hat.

Dr. Anahi Ortiz, first appointed as coroner in 2014, announced in an email Thursday her plans to retire from the role on Nov. 11, touting her eight-year tenure serving residents of Franklin County as “the honor of a lifetime.”

“The families that come to use are often going through one of the darkest moments of their lives,” Ortiz said. “It is our job to provide those families with delicate, accurate and prompt service, which has always been of the utmost importance to me and my staff.”

Her retirement announcement comes at the halfway point of her four-year term — toward the end of which she oversaw record-breaking homicide numbers in Columbus in 2021 and a rise in fentanyl-related overdose deaths.

Ortiz said she had considered retirement for the past year but stuck around a bit longer to ensure a smooth transition as the office bulked up its recruitment efforts. Today, the office is nearly fully staffed with six pathologists and a pathology assistant, and her team is delivering coroner’s reports to families “at a faster pace than ever before in my tenure,” she said.

“I will continue to be a resource for the office as needed,” Ortiz said. “My hope is that our community will continue to focus its efforts on solving the mental health, addiction, and homicide crises that so often result in the tragedies that plague too many families in Franklin County and beyond.”

Ortiz said she plans to spend more time with her family during her retirement.

The Franklin County Commissioner’s Office will appoint an interim coroner to replace Ortiz as it forms a search committee to permanently fill the role, according to Ortiz.