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Kane County coroner to occupy DuPage facility after black mold found

Published: Friday, June 13, 2014 7:05 p.m. CDT

Kane County Coroner Rob Russell's work will be outsourced to the DuPage County Coroner's Office for the time being, after he temporarily shut down the county's morgue, saying black mold was found in and around the cooler and refrigerator area.

At a Kane County Judicial and Public Safety Committee meeting Friday, Russell said the mold was found after Mechanical Inc. started replacing parts of the coroner building freezer, which broke in November, causing two decomposing bodies to leak out over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The mold was identified by an environmental scientist who suggested Russell close the building, which he did after notifying State's Attorney Joe McMahon.

Russell then contacted DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen to ask whether he could rent the DuPage coroner building in the meantime.

"We are very happy and able to accommodate [Russell's] coroner's office in our facility," Jorgensen said during the meeting.

The partnership with DuPage County officially was announced during the Friday meeting. According to a statement issued Friday by the Kane County Coroner's Office, "there will be no impairment of service to the public. Families and funeral homes will be notified of the new temporary location, and information will also be available on the Kane County website."

There are no concrete plans for how the partnership will be paid for, or how much it will cost, Russell and Jorgensen said. Jorgensen said he's researching a reasonable mutual aid price and would discuss it in a DuPage County meeting Tuesday.

The option of storing the bodies in a hospital was discussed during the meeting, but Russell said that posed too many security issues.

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