Kane County coroner reviewing past death cases

Updated 7/24/2015 4:55 PM

Members of the public are asked to contact the Kane County coroner's office if they have concerns about past death rulings by the office.

Kane County Coroner Rob Russell announced Friday he is starting "a systematic review of previous Kane County coroner cases for compliance with updated scientific and forensic standards." The initiative follows a request made by Bob Tiballi of Elgin, who ran for the coroner's office in 2012 but lost to Russell in the Republican primary, Russell said.


Tiballi brought forward a case that had been ruled as an indetermined death, but that Tiballi believed was a homicide, Russell said. That case is being reviewed, according to the release from Russell.

"After Dr. Tiballi mentioned this case to me, I discovered another possible case that needed further study," Russell said in a news release. "That prompted me to start this initiative. If there are any sins of the past or inaccurate findings that need fixing, it is important to me that they are dealt with. At this time, I am not saying there are, but if there are, I will find and deal with them."

Both the case brought forward by Tiballi and the second case discovered by Russell are being investigated, said Russell, who declined to give more details.

Anyone with concerns regarding past death rulings should contact the coroner's office at (630) 232-3535 with the dead person's full name and date of death. Russell said he also plans to create a form on the coroner's website so people can submit their inquiries electronically.

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Russell emphasized people should call if they have new information or specific concerns.

"I cannot promise anyone that their case will be overturned," Russell said. "I can only promise that I will review every case with current medicolegal standards and practices and will make changes if the evidence prompts further action to be taken."

Russell said he will conduct the preliminary reviews so the initiative will not affect the coroner's office's budget. "Some (reviews) are probably going to be clear cut," he said. "If I get overwhelmed, I will draft retired coroners or retired law enforcement to assist."

His office conducts about 160 autopsies per year and handles about 3,000 death cases, of which the coroner deals with about 300, Russell said.

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