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Monday, October 10, 2016

Decision 2016: Bates County Coroner candidate Greg Mullinax

I’d like to thank Bates Live for the opportunity to discuss why I’m running for Bates County Coroner and ask for your vote.

Simply put, I have something to give back to a community which has been good to me. I’m prepared for this with 10+ years of experience caring for the deceased. Many of your friends and neighbors know me and have experienced my ability in this field. The demands of the Coroner’s position are very similar to what I do each and every day, and have done for 10 years.

In this field, an associate’s degree is common. I chose to obtain a 4-year Bachelor of Arts in Biology degree because it gave me deeper education and insight to my field. I felt then, and do now, that more education would be useful later. I graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2004. My university course work covered forensics, anatomy & physiology, organic chemistry, histology, toxicology, parasitology, and microbiology. I took a heavy concentration in laboratory techniques used in forensic investigations such as DNA procedures. In the same way, I’ve remained current in all topics relating to death care and investigation through many hours of continuing education every year.

No matter who the Coroner is, it is hard for me to imagine that the services and facilities of a funeral director would not be used to assist him or her. As in many counties, here in Bates this has been the tradition for the past 24 years without issue. Why? It is the duty of the coroner that any deceased requiring investigation be kept in his supervision until the necessary work is done. As your coroner, I would utilize my own equipment and facilities to achieve this. I can assure a successful outcome if I’m elected because I already have everything I need operate the office. I see no need that your loved one be transported far out of county, when a medical examiner will travel to my facility to render an M.D.’s opinion of death. When an M.D.’s findings are used to complete the Certificate of Death, it becomes much more difficult to challenge the findings in a court proceeding, in my opinion. This also protects the County to the highest degree possible, because the highest available degree of certification (M.D./D.O.) was used. I am proud that I have told you upfront where your loved ones would go, how they would get there, and how they would be treated. That’s information you need.

A couple years ago, I was summoned to a routine coroner’s call in a nearby county. The deceased man was in his early 40’s with no known illnesses and taking no regular medication. He collapsed while leaving for work and resuscitation was attempted, but obviously unsuccessful. The Coroner proposed a cardiac cause of death and his family, in their numbness and not knowing otherwise, didn’t object. In the days and months that followed however, that information wasn’t enough. Nobody in the family had a cardiac history and the deceased’s physician noted nothing correlating. The family is left with questions today which it is too late to answer.

You see, while it might be tempting to immediately release a deceased to a funeral home from the scene, it would ignore the most important role of the coroner: to determine the cause and manner of death. Perhaps worse, it could lead to years of unanswered questions and distress for loved ones and friends. I have seen firsthand the consequences of this. They’re devastating.

As citizens of Bates County know, this office requires experience, equipment, and facilities in the most professional manner. I’ve worked every day of my career to prepare myself specifically for this position. I know exactly what I am getting into and how to handle it. I’m asking for your vote to allow me to serve my county well.

My best always,
Greg D. Mullinax

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