Deputy state medical examiner hired to investigate deaths in South MS

Deputy state medical examiner hired to investigate deaths in South MS

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - More than two years after the death of Dr. Paul McGarry, a new deputy medical examiner has been hired by the state to serve South Mississippi.

Dr. Ken Clark comes to Mississippi from Syracuse, NY. His hiring means improvements in the way autopsies are handled.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove delivered the good news to county supervisors at Monday's board meeting.

"As soon as we can get him vetted through the background check and his Mississippi license, he will move from Syracuse, New York down here to be our pathologist in this facility on 67," said Hargrove.

The hiring of Clark means autopsies will be performed at the lab, which is part of the public safety complex on Hwy. 67.

Since the death of McGarry, the vast majority of autopsies were performed in Jackson.

"This will alleviate the transport of those individuals to Jackson. They'll now be done here on the coast, which will save the counties a lot of money as far as transport," said Hargrove.

On Jan. 6, Hargrove convened a meeting of South Mississippi coroners and law enforcement officials at the public safety complex. At that meeting, they were introduced to Clark and were able to ask him questions.

Following the question and answer session, State Medical Examiner Dr. Mark LeVaughn hired Clark on the spot.

Hargrove said Clark brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. He's a board certified forensic and neuro pathologist.

"Which is a big benefit in determining like head injury type deaths, whether they may be accidental or possible homicide type situations," said Hargrove.

Clark is currently going through the background checks and getting licensed in Mississippi. He's expected to start in the next few weeks.

McGarry served as forensic pathologist and medical examiner in South Mississippi for some 30 years. He died in January of 2015 at age 86.

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