BOISE — When Erwin Sonnenberg was elected Ada County Coroner in 1984, the office had 2.5 employees. Today, it has 19 employees and it has grown to become a regional medical examiner's office offering service to 21 Idaho counties.
On Friday, Sonnenberg announced that after 36 years (he was appointed chief deputy coroner in 1979), it is time to retire.
"It takes a toll on you dealing with death all the time," Sonnenberg said Friday. Also, said Sonnenberg, the timing is right. He has the ideal candidate in mind to replace him: his forensic lab supervisor Robert Karinen. "There is not another person in the state that can match him in terms of experience and knowledge," Sonnenberg said.
Karinen has filed to run in the May Republican primary for Ada County coroner. He faces one challenger, Matthew Townsend.