Medical examiner's office could be coming to the Brazos Valley

POSTED: Friday, January 6, 2012 - 3:58pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am

BRAZOS VALLEY -- The start of the new year has been a deadly one. Just within the first week of 2012 there have already been four deaths in Brazos County and anytime an autopsy is needed, those bodies must be sent hundreds of miles away to be examined but that could all be changing soon.

Autopsies are needed for many reasons. Whether it's to determine the cause of death or to collect evidence for a trial but those services aren't easily available to those living in the Brazos Valley.

"Currently we have to travel either to Travis County or Montgomery County to find those types of services but if we had them here locally it would be much more convenient and it would be less expensive," said Brazos County Sheriff, Chris Kirk.

An autopsy can cost anywhere from $1,100 up to $3,000, not including travel expenses.

So that's why the Brazos Valley Council of Governments is looking into the possibility of having our own medical examiner.

"The more population, the more births, the more deaths, the more life happens so I think it's incumbent upon us as we look to our future," said Michael Parks. "Are we still going to be able to afford the autopsies and the investigations and the forensic science and lab results?"

And Sheriff Kirk thinks having a local office is a good idea.

"Our investigators won't have to go to the autopsies and make that trip, the body won't have to be transported for miles to find those services and ultimately the doctors and laboratory examiners won't have to travel here to testify."

While research and investigation are still in the early stages of planning both Kirk and Parks hope to see an examiner's office open within the next few years.

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