Will County re-examines death investigations

Right now, the county has an elected coroner instead of an appointed medical examiner.

The current system has been placed in the spotlight after the Will County state's attorney reclassified the 2004 death of Kathleen Savio as a homicide last year. She is the former wife of Drew Peterson, who is a person of interest in the disappearance of his current wife, Stacy Peterson.

Savio's death was originally ruled an accident, but her remains were exhumed. The Savio family had celebrity pathologist Dr. Michael Baden examine her remains. Baden was at the county board meeting Thursday to argue for a change in the system.

"The one thing that MEs or coroners bring that police don't have is the autopsy investigation and results, and having the forensic pathologist do the autopsies cures a lot of problems," said Baden.

"The citizens, the union and the media know that this is nothing but a political hatchet job and quit trying to fix something that is not broken," said Mike Vanover, Will County deputy coroner.

Will County will decide next month whether citizens should vote on this issue in November.

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