Starke County Council Approves Transfer for Autopsy Funds


The four forensic autopsies required by law this year in Starke County have put a pinch on the county coroner’s budget. Last Friday’s death of a three-week old infant required a more in-depth determination of the cause. It’s the second forensic autopsy performed this year on an infant, according to Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells. The county also conducted forensic autopsies on the pilot of a small plane who was killed when his experimental aircraft crash-landed at the Starke County Airport in July and on the victim of a February domestic homicide. Rannells says these more extensive procedures ate up more than $10,000 of his total $13,000 autopsy budget for the year. Council members approved total transfers of $4,133 into his budget with the understanding that additional funds may still be needed if more procedures are required between now and the end of the year. County officials also plan to meet informally with Rannells and other former coroners to talk about budget planning for the office.