Even though the Coroner’s office is one of the lesser-seen offices of Bates County, it is still funded by your tax dollars and I believe in keeping you informed on how I spend my time and your money.
In 2019 I was dispatched to investigate 60 deaths in Bates County. This means I was notified of a death, traveled to the scene, and conducted an investigation to determine the cause and manner of death by: interview of witnesses, scene examination, physical examination, toxicology, and in some cases ordering an autopsy.
Of those 60 deaths, I certified the Missouri Death Certificate on 47. The remaining 13 I assigned to the decedent’s attending physician when death was attributed to a recently diagnosed and/or treated medical condition.
Of the remaining 47 cases I certified: 29 natural causes, 15 accidents, 2 suicides, and 1 homicide. My homicide investigation was forwarded to the Bates County Prosecuting Attorney.
On every death I investigated, I issued a final report to the law enforcement agency of jurisdiction.
In addition, 107 reports of death under hospice, nursing care, or hospitalized within 24 hours were reported to me and reviewed by paperwork only.
Thus the total call volume that was handled through the Bates County Coroner’s office was 201 calls.
In my investigative work, I ordered toxicology in 63% of cases, did external examination in my office in 20% of cases, ordered an autopsy in 25% of cases; I also held two unclaimed bodies and researched next-of-kin information in those cases. I feel that my continued classwork and the availability of broad-spectrum toxicology and chemistry options limits the number of costly autopsies necessary.
In 2019, I personally responded to 58 of the 60 investigated calls. The two remaining calls were handled by my deputy, Mark Goebel. Although the majority of the work is obviously handled by me personally, I am grateful for the presence and training of a good deputy to be always available for the rare times I am not. I make the same commitment to you for 2020.
As usual, my deputy and I attended death investigation classes to continue our knowledge and abilities to investigate deaths in 2020.
I have been the Bates County Coroner for three years and it’s been an honor to work with and assist the Bates County Sheriff’s Office, Butler Police Department, Drexel Police Department, Archie Police Department, Adrian Police Department, Rich Hill Police Department, Amoret & Amsterdam First Responders, Adrian Fire, Butler Fire, Bates County Memorial Hospital EMS, and Missouri State Highway Patrol – Troop A. I hope everyone realizes how fortunate we are to have such a professional and dedicated law enforcement and emergency services community in Bates County.
You are always welcome to contact me anytime with questions. In the meantime, please know that I am continually grateful for the chance to serve in this office, and I will always do so to the very best of my ability.
Greg D. Mullinax
Bates County Coroner