Former Deputy Coroner: Theft From Corpse Reported Year Ago

An ongoing investigation into allegations of theft from a body taken to the Marion County coroner's office began with a report from a former chief deputy coroner.

Stealing from the dead, something many people consider the ultimate violation of dignity, is now the focus of a grand jury investigation, 6News' Jennifer Carmack reported.

Allegations surfaced in October 2005, when deputy coroner John Linehan discovered that more than $3,000 in cash and property belonging to a deceased man was missing from one of the property lockers in the coroner's office.

Linehan said Marion County coroner Kenneth Ackles wanted the matter to be investigated internally.

"When Dr. Ackles first told me that reporting this will make him look bad, my comeback to him was, 'I think we would look bad if we didn't report it,'" Linehan said.

No one from the coroner's office wanted to speak with 6News on camera, but a representative said the theft was an isolated incident and that security has been upgraded.

Linehan said more money and property went missing after the initial report.

"Additional cash was missing. Additional property was missing, some of which was recovered in one of the closets inside the building," Linehan said. "So, we felt that this was probably an inside job."

The Marion County prosecutor's office did not comment on the case, but confirmed the investigation. Linehan, who was fired from his position in December, said he thinks the investigation came too late.

"(It) could have been better handled and investigated while they were still fresh, because I think a lot of tracks have been covered up now," Linehan said.

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