Coroner’s News Briefs

June 14, 2018 - Cold Case - Unidentified Black Female
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

Grundy County Coroner John W. Callahan is releasing details regarding a death investigation of a cold case of an unidentified female. The body was found on October 2, 1976 in a farm field in western Grundy County. Investigators from the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department and Illinois State Police in conjunction with the Coroner, worked the case for a period of time. After several weeks of not being able to make any identification, the body was buried under the authority of the Grundy County Coroner. Not only were there no identification leads, but also the fact that the death was ruled a Homicide from a gunshot wound to the head.

Coroner Callahan states that at the time in 1976, authorities exhausted all possibilities with the investigative tools of that time. Today, there is so much more in the way of DNA, advanced fingerprinting, facial sketch artists just to name a few that my office felt it was an opportune time to look further into the death. Coroner Callahan also states, “I’ve known about this unidentified female since I started in the Coroner’s office in 1994 and it has troubled me that someone’s loved one is buried here and was never identified.” Coroner Callahan states that he understands that this is a “long shot” in hopes of identification and even further of any hope of finding the killer. I do believe my office has put together a very solid case presentation with the help of evidence that was kept by the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department and assistance from the Illinois State Police Crime Lab, along with NamUs.

The following is a current news release, along with the sketch and two articles from 1976, when she was found:

Grundy County, Illinois-The Grundy County Coroner’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in helping to identify a victim from a 1976 cold case. On October 2, 1976, the body of a Female was found in a ditch, located on the Western edge of rural Grundy County. The victim was described as a Female Black, between 18-23 years of age, with black hair, brown eyes, 5’7” and 150 lbs. With so much advancement in Forensic Science over the years, our office is taking a fresh look at this case. With the help of an illustrator, who was able to design this image to help depict how the victim may have looked at the time of her death. We understand that this is someone’s daughter and loved one. Please help us in bringing closure to her family after forty-two years. Anyone with information that can lead us to the identity of this female is asked to contact Deputy Coroner Brandon Johnson at the Grundy County Coroner’s Office at 815-942-3792 or bjohnson@grundyco.org

 

May 14, 2018 - Traffic Crash on I-55 north of the Gardner Exit
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office along with the Illinois State Police is investigating a traffic crash on I-55 north of the Gardner exit Monday afternoon May 14, 2018.   The incident occurred shortly after 4:00 pm, claiming the life of a 61 year old man from Broadview, Illinois.

Coroner Callahan states he was called to I-55 MP 231 around 4:30 pm.  Preliminary investigation indicates there was a rollover crash in the southbound lanes of I-55 which in turn caused the northbound traffic to stop.  At that time it appears a van traveling northbound did not see the stopped traffic and crashed into the rear of a midsize vehicle causing it to strike the car in front of it.  The van then spun around and struck another vehicle causing it to roll onto its side.

Coroner Callahan states the driver of the van was identified as Stephen D. Fulse and was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:05 pm.  Broadview Police Department assisted in the notification.

An examination will take place Tuesday and the investigation continues into the death of Mr. Fulse as well as the crash.

 

May 4, 2018 - Drowning Victim Name Released
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office is releasing more information regarding the body found in a private pond west of Morris on May 3rd.

Coroner Callahan states the autopsy was completed this afternoon May 4th and the body was positively identified thru tattoos and other physical evidence on the body.  The body was identified as Terry Edward Brown, 45 year of age from Michigan.   Mr. Brown’s vehicle was found in early December in a ditch just off of I-80 at the Seneca exchange.  No one was around the vehicle at the time when police arrived.

Coroner Callahan states it is uncertain as to the events the evening the car was found in the ditch and the time since that evening.  Coroner Callahan states when we have a death investigation such as this death where there are no witnesses, it is difficult to pinpoint the actions of the Mr. Brown.   What we do know is Mr. Brown’s death is a drowning pending toxicology tests.

This incident remains under investigation.

 

May 3, 2018 - Drowning Under Investigation
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office along with Grundy County Sheriff Department and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services are investigating an apparent drowning.   Coroner Callahan states he was called around 1610 hours on Thursday May 3, 2018 to a private pond located at Rt. 6 and Seneca Road.  The subject was discovered by a couple fisherman.

Coroner Callahan states a subject was taken from the water with the assistance of Morris Fire Department Water Rescue Team around 1800 hours.

The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.  Coroner Callahan states this death could be related to a traffic crash that had occurred several months ago at the Seneca exit.  The driver of that crash had never been found.

An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow and more information may be released at that time.

This incident remains under investigation.

April 26, 2018 - Casualty Name Released From Accident on Route 47 near Spring Road
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office along with Grundy County Sheriff Department is investigating a two vehicle crash that claimed the life of a Morris Woman.

Chief Deputy Coroner Christina Hintze-Symoniak is releasing the name of the Morris Woman that was killed on Rt 47 near Spring Road, yesterday evening, April 25th.   23 year old Sabrina M. Slater was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:50pm.

The crash remains under investigation by both agencies and an examination will take place the afternoon of April 26,2018

 

April 25, 2018 - Accident on Route 47 near Spring Road
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

Grundy County Coroner John W. Callahan’s Office and the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department are investigating a two vehicle crash that claimed the life of a 23 year-old Morris woman Wednesday evening, April 25th. 2018

The Coroner’s office states that the woman, whose name is being withheld pending notification of the next-of-kin, was traveling southbound on Route 47 near Spring Road, outside of Mazon at approximately 5:30 p.m., when she was involved in the two vehicle crash. Preliminary investigations show that she went to pass another vehicle and for unknown reason did not see stopped traffic turning onto Spring Road and was hit head on by a North bound pickup truck. The Morris Woman was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:50 p.m.

The incident remains under investigation by the Coroner’s office and the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department. Departments were assisted by Mazon, Verona, Kinsman and Morris Fire Departments, as well as Mazon- Verona-Kinsman EMS.

April 9, 2018 - Update on Rt. 47 and Gardner traffic accident
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office John Callahan is releasing more information on the traffic crash that occurred March 16th at the Gardner Blacktop and Rt. 47 that claimed the life of Robert Hogg. 

Toxicology results indicate Mr. Hogg’s blood alcohol content was 0.262 and in addition Mr. Hogg tested positive for THC and an anti-depressant. 

Coroner Callahan states there has been a lot of concern with this particular intersection in the County.  While there may be additional safety measures considered in the future, it is still a major concern of Coroner’s Office regarding Driving Under the Influence and/or impaired.

April 2, 2018 - Update on Jugtown Road Accident
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office along with Grundy County Sheriff Department is investigating a single vehicle crash that claimed the life of a Coal City man.

 Grundy County Coroner John W. Callahan is releasing the name of the Coal City man that died in an incident on Jugtown Road sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.   52 year old Paul L Ruffatti was found in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck pulled from Beaver Lake in Goose Lake Township on Sunday April 1, 2018.

The crash remains under investigation by both agencies.  Coroner Callahan states if anyone was with Mr. Ruffatti Saturday evening or early Sunday to call his office with any information.

  The incident remains under investigation by both agencies and an examination will take place April 2, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 1, 2018 - Jugtown Road Accident
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office along with Grundy County Sheriff Department is investigating a single vehicle crash that claimed the life of a Coal City man.

 Preliminary investigation indicates  that a pickup truck was headed Southbound on Jugtown Road when for unknown reason left the roadway and traveled close to 400ft, then corrected and went thru brush and timber and into Beaver Lake.  The man’s identity is being withheld, pending next of kin notification.

  The incident remains under investigation by both agencies and an examination will take place April 2, 2018

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March 17, 2018 - Update on Rt. 47 and Gardner traffic accident
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

More Details of Fatal

 The Grundy County Coroner’s office along with Grundy County Sheriff Department is investigating a traffic crash that claimed the life of a 41 year old Channahon man.

 Notification was made late last night and the identity is being released this morning March 17, 2018.   The vehicle was being driven by Robert G Hogg Friday evening.  Preliminary investigation indicates Mr. Hogg was eastbound on Gardner blktp when he failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection of Gardner Blktp and Rt. 47.  Mr. Hogg’s unit stuck a large flatbed trailer that was being pulled southbound on Rt. 47.

Coroner Callahan states Mr. Hogg had to be extricated from the vehicle and transported to the Morris Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1845 hours Friday evening.

 The incident remains under investigation by both agencies and an examination will take place Saturday morning the 17th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 16, 2018 - Rt. 47 and Gardner traffic accident
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office along with Grundy County Sheriff Department is investigating a traffic crash that claimed the life of a Channahon man.   Coroner Callahan states the incident happened near the intersection of Rt. 47 and Gardner Blktp on Friday evening.

 At this time the name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of next of kin.

 Remains under investigation by both departments and an examination will take place Saturday morning.

 

 

 

 

 

January 20, 2018 - Sandwich Teen Death Under Investigation
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office along with Morris Police are investigating the death of an 18 year old Sandwich man in the early morning hours of Saturday 1/20/18.

 Coroner Callahan states the preliminary investigation indicates Bladimir Ortega 18 of Sandwich was brought to the ER of Morris Hospital by a friend.  The friend came into the ER admitting area and stated his friend needs help.  Staff from the hospital approached the car with a wheelchair and placed patient into the chair.  Patient had no pulse at this time.  Patient’s friend told ER staff he would park the car and come in, however he left the scene and has not come forward.  Life saving measures were preformed but patient never responded and was pronounced dead at 0123 Saturday morning.  Coroner Callahan states that it is believed Heroin was used and Bladimir overdosed.

 The investigation continues with an examination scheduled for later today.

 

 

 

 

January 5, 2018 - Fatal Vehicle Crash
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office and Illinois State Police are investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash, which claimed the life of a 27 year old Bradley woman. The Coroner’s office states that woman was travelling Eastbound on I-80 near mile marker 121 near Minooka, when it appears she came upon heavy traffic from a previous accident ahead, causing her to rear end a large box-type truck. The woman identified as Angela Dominguez was pronounced dead at 1:03 p.m. Notification was made to the family shortly after 4:30 p.m. by the Kankakee County Coroner’s Office.

 The incident remains under investigation by Coroner Callahan’s Office and the Illinois State Police. Departments were assisted by the Minooka Fire Protection District.

 

 

 

November 20, 2017 - Dwight Garage Explosion - Update
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

The Grundy County Coroner’s office completed the examination on Mr. Heinrich Sunday evening and preliminary cause indicates a cardiac event that could have been accelerated by a traumatic event that took place in his garage that evening. Mr. Heinrich had several health issues prior to the event on Saturday. Also after meeting with family members and fire officials it’s been determined that there was no explosion and that Mr. Heinrich had changed out the motor on his electric wheelchair sometime prior to the fire. It is unknown at this time what may have actually started the fire.

 The death remains under investigation by Coroner Callahan’s Office and fire officials.

 

 

November 19, 2017 - Dwight Garage Explosion
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

Grundy County Coroner John W. Callahan’s Office is investigating the death of a 53 year old Dwight man that was pronounced dead in the Morris ER at 1805 Saturday evening following an incident involving a fire in Dwight.

 Coroner Callahan states that Mr. Donald Heinrich was in his garage in Dwight working with an acetylene tank when an explosion occurred followed by a fire.  Mr. Heinrich is an amputee and was in his motorized wheel chair at the time of the incident.  His clothing caught fire and due to the incident was thrown out of his chair.  He was unable to crawl out of the garage and EMS along with other were able to free him from the burning garage. While EMS was tending medical attention to Mr. Heinrich, he went into cardiac arrest and CPR was initiated along with transporting to Morris Hospital.

 Mr. Heinrich did suffer burns of his body however an autopsy will take place Sunday to determine the cause of death.

 The death remains under investigation by Coroner Callahan’s Office.

 

November 10, 2017 - Single-Vehicle Rollover on I-55
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

Grundy County Coroner John W. Callahan’s Office and the Illinois State Police are investigating a single-vehicle rollover accident that claimed the life of a 37 year old Cicero man.

 The Coroner’s office states that Sergio Rodriguez was travelling Northbound on I-55 near mile marker 226, outside of Gardner, when he was involved in the rollover accident.  Rodriguez was transported to the Morris Hospital Emergency Room, where he was pronounced dead at 5:17 a.m.

 The incident remains under investigation by the Coroner’s office and the Illinois State Police.  Departments were assisted by Gardner Fire/EMS.

 

August 19, 2017 - Motorcycle crash on Pine Bluff Road
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

Grundy County Coroner John W. Callahan and the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a crash of a motorcycle that claimed the life of a 34 year old rural Morris man.

Coroner Callahan states the initial call came into the 911 center at 04:14 from the mother of the victim. She had stated she had received a call from her son stating he had been in a crash on Pine Bluff but unsure of location. Sheriff’s Deputies found the crash east of Jug town on Pine Bluff Road at 0454.

Preliminary investigation indicates the motorcyclist was westbound on Pine Bluff coming into the S curve ½ mile east of Jugtown. For unknown reason, the motorcyclist did not make the curve and traveled off the roadway into the wooded area on the Southside of Pine Bluff. Pronounced dead at the scene is Bryan C Eisenhower of rural Morris.

The incident remains under investigation by the Coroner’s office and the Sheriff’s Department. Departments were assisted by Coal City EMS.

April 30, 2017 - Car Crash On I-55 Near Rt 17
Grundy County Coroner’s Office
John W. Callahan, Coroner
1320 Union St.
Morris, IL  60450
Phone – 815-942-3792
Fax – 815-941-3355

 

Grundy County Coroner John W. Callahan is investigating a crash that occurred on I 55 near Rt 17 Sunday afternoon around 230 pm.

Coroner Callahan states the patient was transported from the scene and was dead on arrival at Morris Emergency Room at 1528 Sunday afternoon.

Preliminary reports from Dist 6 indicates Anthony G. Shelton of Fayetteville, Arkansas was north bound on I 55 when he lost control of his vehicle and stuck the overpass structure.  Coroner Callahan states Mr. Shelton was pronounced dead in Morris ER.   Mr. Shelton was 55 years old and appears to have been on a business trip.

The crash remains under investigation by Coroner Callahan’ office and the Illinois State Police District 6.

 

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