Note: This story was last updated at 11:45 a.m. Dec. 11.
The family of a former Oak Ridge school employee found dead of a shotgun wound in Cocke County more than three years ago wants authorities there to reopen the investigation of their son’s death, a press release said.
The family of Alexander “Alex” J. Heitman has also hired an attorney, retired Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugh B. Ward Jr. of Knoxville law firm Young Williams. Ward has Oak Ridge connections, serving on several local boards and as the city’s administrative hearing officer.
Heitman’s family asked for the death investigation to be re-opened after Cocke County Circuit Court Judge Ben Hooper on Monday ordered Coroner Terry Jarnigan to stay away from crime scenes and dead bodies in Cocke County. The Newport Plain Talk reported that Jarnigan allegedly compromised a corpse he was told would be sent for an autopsy in November.
WBIR-TV in Knoxville reported that Jarnigan resigned Tuesday. The Heitmans said the former county coroner oversaw their son’s crime scene.