The Missouri legislature : raising the training standard for Missouri corners.

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Corners is an unincorporated community in St. Marys Township in Perry County, Missouri, United States. Corners are located in the southwest corner of Perry County, northwest of Yount, near the St. Francois County line. The name is believed to be derived from the intersection’s location at the corner of Perry County.

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The Missouri Legislature is considering setting minimum training standards for coroners following allegations that Cape Girardeau County’s coroner stole money at death scenes and botched several death investigations.
Cape Girardeau County coroner Wevis Jordan, elected in 2020, is scheduled to appear in court Friday to plead guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge and three felony counts of making false statements on a death certificate. A separate court case, quo warranto proceedings for his removal, filed by Attorney General Andrew Bailey is also pending.
On Tuesday, a half-dozen witnesses told personal horror stories of their interactions with Jordan during a House Elections and Elected Officials Committee hearing. He spoke in favor of a bill sponsored by Representative John Vos mandating that all coroners be trained as emergency medical technicians and pass a course on death investigation.


“Missouri families are still being let down by the lack of technical qualification standards for county coroners,” said Voss, a Republican from Cape Girardeau. “This has been going on for decades and now it is time for us to step up and provide leadership to address this injustice
The stories told Tuesday ranged from examples of simple incompetence to potentially life-threatening mistakes.

One was Dana Mueller, who lost her sister, Susan Westrich, in July 2021. After being told that a toxicology screening would be performed to help determine her cause of death, Mueller says he called Jordan two days later
The stories of other family members of those who died reiterated many of the points made by Mueller – that Jordan was unprofessional in his presence, that he refused to order the necessary tests to determine the true cause of death, and that The cause was said to be heart disease.
It may burst if it comes in contact with water.

The mere possibility that her brother consumed sodium azide when he committed suicide, Svoboda said, disrupted his funeral services.

“When the funeral home found out what it was, they didn’t put the body on it,” he said.

The body was not present at the church service and was taken directly from the funeral home to the cemetery, he said
“They told us outright that he could explode while we were taking him to the grave,” Svoboda said.

Jordan, a Republican, worked as a school security guard, hearse driver, and funeral flower seller, but had no prior training or experience handling the dead before her election. He won a three-way primary in 2020 with 39% of the vote and did not face a general election opponent.
In late 2021, documenting COVID-19, an investigation by USA TODAY Network and The Independent found a large number of unexpected deaths in Cape Girardeau County. Jordan did not declare a single person dead from COVID-19 in 2021.
Lawmakers have tried to add new standards to coroner training but have been slow to get started.

The Missouri legislature: raising the training standard for Missouri corners.

In 2020, lawmakers created the Coroner Standards and Training Commission and added a $1 fee to death certificates to finance its operations. However ‘Governor Mike Parson did not appoint enough of the eight members to operate the business through 2022.
Voss told the committee that the 2020 law requires the commission to set training standards, but sets no deadlines for reporting on its activity. His bill would require a report by Jan. 1.

Coroners who testified on the bill said they support the expanded training. During the inquest, Laclede County Coroner Steve Murrell said Jordan’s case was serious.

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