ISP investigating Sullivan County coroner

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Sullivan County Prosecutor’s Office announced in a news release Friday that the Indiana State Police has launched an investigation into Sullivan County Coroner Tracy Tackett after a YouTube video containing criminal allegations against Tackett was published.

According to the release, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s dispatch received a citizen complaint on Thursday about the video, the same day ISP was notified. Deputies reviewed the video and notified the Sullivan County Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday as well.

The investigation is active and ongoing and, according to the release, the Indiana Crimes Against Children unit has been notified. The Sullivan County Prosecutor’s Office said in the release it has no information beyond what the public has already seen from the YouTube video at this time.

On Thursday, ISP Sgt. Matt Ames told WTWO the ISP will be working with Sullivan County prosecutor Ann Mischler on the investigation. In a news release sent Friday, Mischler spoke to the case’s complexity.

“This case is complicated by the fact that it was not initiated by law enforcement and may involve another state jurisdiction,” Mischler said. “We need to let the investigation run its course, and my office will proceed accordingly once it is completed.”

Regarding death investigations, in an email sent Friday Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom said law enforcement will follow existing protocol in which officers respond to death scenes to conduct a preliminary investigation. Police will continue to follow Indiana statutes which clearly define when the Coroner’s Office should be summoned concerning a death investigation.

If the Coroners Office is required, during this time Chief Deputy Randy Beller will handle those callouts until further notice.

Sheriff Cottom also said he confirmed with the Indiana State Coroner’s Board that the county may request assistance from surrounding County Coroners if needed. Cottom added that Vigo County Coroner Dr. Janie Myers said late Thursday night she would assist Sullivan County investigations.  

The Sheriff did not give any idea as to how long the county will handle coroner callouts, saying only the next few days and weeks will hopefully give a clearer picture on this situation.

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