Letter to the Editor

Coroner doing everything law requires

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

To the editor:

In reply to the recent Speak Out comment, "Where's the coroner?": The comment asks some questions that bring up good points and demand an answer.

We will not address the mayor's actions with the police officers, because that is not under our jurisdiction. Please be assured that the death investigation, which is under our jurisdiction, is being handled by our office. Every effort is being made to handle this under the requirements of Illinois statutes. We have not scheduled an inquest because, as we have repeatedly informed media and the public, we do not have all necessary reports back to present the evidence fairly and impartially.

The Illinois State Police has not officially closed its investigation as of this date (Feb. 3), and this office has not received state police reports, nor have we received toxicology or autopsy reports. The Flowers family has, as of this date, been informed four times of this as well as being informed that these reports are what Illinois state law requires.

As to the question, "Where's the coroner?", the answer is we are right here, doing our job just as we are supposed to, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as required by the people of Illinois.

DAVID W. BARKETT, Alexander County Coroner, Cairo, Ill.