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Thursday night with the coroner – better than CSI

Join Douglas County Coroner Lora Thomas at her “Thursday Night with the Coroner” on October 25.

By Elizabeth Wood West; photo courtesy of Douglas County Coroner’s Office

Are you a forensic fan who is interested in learning what a coroner really does? Douglas County Coroner Lora Thomas is inviting the public to spend a few hours with her as she shares a glimpse into her fascinating profession at her next “Thursday Night with the Coroner.”

The event is free and will be held on Thursday, October 25, starting at 6:45 p.m. at Chaparral High School, 15655 Brookstone Drive in Parker. Thomas will be joined by Chief Deputy Chuck Brining and Forensic Pathologist Dr. James Wilkerson. Thomas will briefly discuss the current statistics concerning deaths in Douglas County; Brining will show photos from actual scenes that describe the five manners of death; Wilkerson will show a series of unique photographs from investigations in which he was involved; and all three will answer audience questions. Parental discretion is highly advised because of the graphic photographs used in the presentation. Donations will also be accepted at the event to support local suicide prevention efforts in Douglas County.

Before becoming Douglas County coroner, Thomas’ background included working for the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) for 26 years in a wide variety of assignments, including being a trooper in Douglas County in the 1980’s.

Thomas, a 20-year Douglas County resident, was the first woman captain and major in the CSP’s history. Thomas holds criminal justice and business degrees, an MBA, and is certified as a Death Investigator by the Colorado Coroners Association as well as the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.

Thomas said, “The back of our business card says, ‘Compassion for families with accountability to the taxpayer.’ It’s very rewarding to work with and help families who are going through a difficult and trying time of loss. I’m proud, too, that our staff has worked to bring accountability to the taxpayers. Last year we returned $200,000 to the County, which equals more than 15 percent of the adopted budget for 2011. The budget was reduced 8.6 percent for 2012, and we’ll be returning a significant amount back to the County in December,” added Thomas.

To register for the event, visit www.douglas.co.us/coroner. For more information, contact Jessica Carlos-Ray at 303-814-7150 or by e-mail jcarlos@douglas.co.us.

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