Coroner Terry Wilson Accused of Being Terrible at His Job

Lewis County's Terry Wilson gives guys like these a bad name.
The job of a coroner can't be easy. But it's hard to imagine someone doing it worse than Lewis County's Terry Wilson.

KOMO News asked for every complaint registered against Wilson for the past 10 years. Then they picked the three most likely to piss off viewers.

Back in 2000, Dennis Bardsley's dad died of a heart attack while on the way to a hospital. For some reason, medics thought it'd be a good idea to return the old man's dead body to his house.

That's when Wilson saw the medics' dumb decision and called their bluff.

Wilson decided it wasn't his job to pick up the body. He thought that the duty of a funeral home. When Dennis and his family came to their dad's house, they saw their dead father strapped to a board lying in the driveway.

"I think it's completely wrong and it's just inhumane," Dennis Bardsley told KOMO.

David Brooks had an apartment full of valuable electronics. He lived alone and died of a heart attack. But those same electronics never made it East to David's parents when Wilson's office sent them their son's remaining stuff.

Instead they got boxes of wet towels and toilet paper. When they asked for his VCR, copier and digital camera they got nowhere. They were told they just disappeared, despite the fact that they were listed on the coroner's inventory.

Then, in 2007, the worst case of all.

17-year-old Matt Daarud was hit and killed by a train. The tracks were shut down so the coroner could pick up what remained of his body.

But four hours later, after everyone had gone home for the night, family friend Connie Todd found that Wilson's group had been less than thorough. Todd says she tried to call the coroner but the office was shut down for the night.

Freaking out over how Daarud's family would react if they saw chunks of their son's body left lying on the tracks, Todd scrambled to recover what she could. The worse was yet to come.

When she asked them what she was supposed to do with the remains, some the size of dinner plates, Wilson apparently told her the unthinkable: Keep it in your freezer until we can come get it.

As you might expect, Wilson isn't talking. But he may have even more reason to explain himself.

Yesterday a Lewis County jury said that Wilson's ruling that former state trooper Ronda Reynolds' death was a suicide was inaccurate. Reynolds was found shot dead in her Toledo home in 1998 by her husband. Her mother had brought the suit because she thought her daughter's death was a homicide.

The 12-member jury reached a unanimous verdict that Wilson's finding was "inaccurate and capricious." When asked if he would reconsider Reynolds' cause of death, however, Wilson said no.

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