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April 17, 2024

State Police: Ford County Corrections Officer’s stories didn’t add up –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 26, 2020


In its supplementary report on the investigation surrounding the death of Richard Gonzalez in the Ford County Jail, the Illinois State Police interviewed Ford County Corrections Officers.

In the report, the ISP Investigator indicated that he detected what he believed to be anomalies and implausibilities in the content of interviews with the Corrections Officers Thomas Henry, William Williams, and Forrest Tardiff, and Correctional Corporal Jackie Cornett:

  • When Mr. Gonzalez was discovered deceased, he was reportedly in rigor mortis, despite accounts that he was alive approximately 30 minutes prior to his discovery
  • Based on his training rigor mortis begins 2 to 4 hours after death
  • Further questioning was conducted and each officer maintained their versions of events, despite the submission of the empirical science of rigor mortis

The Investigator asked the Appellate Prosecutor to consider the possibilities that corrections officers had provided false information in their Ford County Sheriff’s Department Incident Reports and also in their interviews with the Illinois State Police. He also inquired whether this would constitute Official Misconduct, Perjury, etc.

After the Appellate Prosecutor suggested conducting a second interview, and each person maintaining their original statements despite the submission of the empirical science of rigor mortis. The case was then sent to the Appellate Prosecutor, and about a month later was informed that the Appellate Prosecutor, Mr. Parkinson, found “insufficient evidence to proceed on criminal charges.” 

Read the report here: I-CASE No. IL 12AA10559

We find it odd that corrections officers reported he was alive 30 minutes prior to finding him deceased, and rigor mortis had already set in (which begins between 2 and 4 hours). The timelines do not match with science.

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1 Comment
    Posted at 08:50h, 28 January

    Wouldn’t be the first time I have seen robust evidence in police reports described as “insufficient”