Prowers County Coroner, Joe Giadone, said recent efforts to identify the body of a man found in a seep ditch east of Holly on December 12th have come up empty. “We’re trying to identify this person through DNA. We recently thought we had a lead from a missing person report from Missouri, but the identifications did not match in this instance,” he explained.
Giadone was presenting the County Commissioners with a synopsis report for his office for 2015 during their meeting, Monday, January 18th. The Commissioners recently decided to alter their meeting schedule to Mondays through the year. “The DNA search is being used because the condition of the body was such that even a two week effort to develop fingerprints didn’t bring any results,” Giadone stated, adding that Greeley authorities thought this may be connected to a murder in that city and sent down some dental records, but without a match. The coroner said he expects to have some results in his office by February, but to date there’s no name, no date of birth, no missing person’s report to go on. “We’ve also used a website called the National Missing and Unidentified Person System out of Fort Worth,” he said.
Giadone noted that the body may have to be cremated and buried in Lamar, similar to a case from years ago, of an unidentified man who was found dead near the railroad tracks and is now a John Doe, buried in Riverside Cemetery. “The county will have to bear the cost of the expenses for a portion of the search,” he remarked. The body from Holly is being kept in El Paso County, pending the search results. Giadone said the added expenses for this would have to be included in the 2015 budget and may require extra funding for this year. “We don’t normally use our full budget,” he said, noting that there have been increases over the past year.
“In 2014 we had 75 coroner calls and four autopsies, plus 1,000 miles were logged in the year. Last year we had 85 calls and 10 autopsies which hit our funds hard, plus 1,200 miles were logged,” he explained. Giadone said Ryan Cook, who was recently made Captain in the Lamar Fire and Ambulance Department, will be his newest deputy, increasing the number to three. He noted there has already been one autopsy this year, relating to the recent fire in Hartman.
By Russ Baldwin
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