Coroner Leffler Issues Statement on Deceased Man Found in West Frankfort

(BENTON-ILLINOIS) On the afternoon of Thursday, October 17, 2019, The Franklin County Coroner’s Department was requested to respond to a wooded area on South Logan Street in West Frankfort, where a deceased person was discovered. Chief Deputy Coroner John Graskewicz responded to the scene where he was met by West Frankfort Police Department Investigators along with a Crime Scene Investigator from the Illinois State Police. Chief Deputy Coroner Graskewicz was briefed of the scene and taken to the place in the wooded area, where he pronounced the subject deceased at 3:35 p.m. 

The deceased victim was identified as that of 57-year-old Michael J. Childers, of Herrin. Childers was known to be homeless and local police officers in West Frankfort knew of him staying in the wooded area where he was located.


After the scene investigation was completed, the body of Mr. Childers was transported by the West Frankfort Fire Department Ambulance personnel to the Franklin Hospital Morgue. Once at the morgue, Chief Deputy Coroner Graskewicz ordered x-rays on the deceased to rule out any foul play. An autopsy was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Friday at the Williamson County Morgue.


X-rays, along with preliminary autopsy results, were negative of any traumatic type injuries, and the preliminary autopsy results reveal that, 57-year-old Michael Childers died from natural causes.  Toxicology results are pending and will not be expected available for 4 to 6 weeks.


There is no further information available at this time.