Bodies Decay When Coroner's Freezer Goes Out on Thanksgiving

A freezer bought at Jimmy John's goes kaput, and Kane County Coroner Robert Russell says it will cost $3,500 to repair.

Kane County Coroner Robert Russell
Kane County Coroner Robert Russell
While residents of Kane County were struggling with cooking turkeys and entertaining house guests Thursday, Kane County Coroner's Office personnel were grappling with a bigger problem.

The morgue's freezer went kaput with two bodies inside that began to "liquefy," according to a Russell quote in the Kane County Chronicle. The smell was overpowering, but Coroner's Officer personnel came in, put on hazmat suits and moved the bodies to another freezer to slow decomposition.

The Chronicle story said the morgue's freezer is 20 years old and was purchased from Jimmy John's. Russell is seeking $3,500 to repair the freezer. 

The Coroner's Office is located in Building E at the Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave. in Geneva.

Russell told various media outlets that his office had been underfunded for many years. He and County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen have sparred over requests for additional funding, but a compromise was brokered by Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham, according to the Daily Herald.

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Jeff Johns December 05, 2013 at 09:07 AM
Politics in the coroner's office to try to get what you want? The Kane County Coroner's comment that he freezer is from Jimmy John's is irrelevant. I was bought used....20 years? What was the service/maintenance records prior to the coroner's office budget turmoil? I hope Jimmy John's is all over this reference to them. They are not a freezer retailer. Slander? In our litigious society, maybe so. The coroner's reference to bodies liquifying only gives the public more reason to have mistrust in this office. Who would want someone they know to be taken to the Coroner's Office. Very Unprofessional, classes, and petty. The Coroner's office needs to work within their budget. How are the controlling, reducing and managing their expenses. The public feels they are asking for more and not managing or fixing other challenges besides a freezer.


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