2022 Dr. David Avolt Memorial Training Conference

Download the 2022 CE Conference Brochure

June 16th - 18th

Sheraton Hotel and Suites, Indianapolis

The conference name comes from Dr. David Avolt, Tippecanoe County Coroner. David died on August 16, 2012 as the result of an auto accident in Dunedin, Florida. The Indiana State Coroners Association looked back at the history of David’s dedication, love, leadership and affiliation with the Association. The board of the Indiana State Coroner’s Association reflected on the growth, positive changes and guidance that David brought to this fraternal organization. David was a very valuable part of making the Indiana State Coroners Association and the Coroners Training Board into what they are today by his active involvement and encouragement, and forethought of the future and his drive for education and professionalism. Based on all of this the board unanimously voted to rename our annual conference the Dr. David Avolt Memorial Training Conference. This is in recognition of a man who truly dedicated his life to the betterment of his fellow coroners.

He was elected Tippecanoe County Coroner in 1984 after serving as a deputy under Dr. William Sholty. He served in the coroner’s office since then. As Coroner he was instrumental in raising the professionalism of the office, helping to write the legislation in 1993 that required all Coroners and Deputy Coroners to become trained, state certified and requiring continuing education. Dr. Avolt was the first Veterinarian to be elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensics Sciences in 1979. He had served as President of the Coroners Association in 1992 and a longtime board member. He had also served as the Executive Director of the Coroners Training Board from 1994-1998.

“Doc” is considered by many, as the Dean of Indiana Coroners. His willingness to counsel, assist or advise those seeking his wisdom and experience has been a tremendous asset over the years, not only to coroners but to the families being served as well. His proudest accomplishments are the students and colleagues he has mentored through the years that achieved the great heights “Dr. Dave” knew they were capable of achieving.

Conference Site
Sheraton Hotel & Suites
8787 Keystone Crossing
Indianapolis, IN

There will be a direct bill account established with the Sheraton Hotel & Suites to cover the $127.00 plus tax for the Certified Coroners and Deputy Coroners. If the distance from your home or your workstation to Indianapolis is less than 50 miles, we are unable to cover your lodging.

You are responsible for making your reservation through the hotel directly to book or cancel your sleeping room. If you are a Coroner or Deputy Coroner, tell them you are on the Coroners Training Board direct bill. They will ask for a credit card which will be used for any incidentals you may have.

You must make your hotel reservations before the cutoff date of May 24, 2022.

When making your reservation please tell them you are attending the "ISCA 2022 Annual Conference” as we have a block of rooms held for our group at the state rate of $127.00 plus tax.

We do require that if there is more than one (1) person of the same sex coming from the same county that you share a room unless you are bringing your family.

If you are sharing a room with another coroner/deputy coroner, when making your reservation please have both names put on the hotel bill.

If your family is coming, they must register once they arrive in the registration room for the CTB to pay for your room.

If you are over 50 miles from the conference site, the CTB will pay for your room on Thursday, June 16th through Saturday, June 18th. The CTB will not pay for rooms on the nights of June 15th or June 19th.

All other attendees: tell them you are attending the “ISCA 2022 Annual Conference” as we have a block of rooms held for our group at the state rate of $127.00 plus tax.

Marriott Reservations


Registration & Coroners Shop

Suites 8, 9 & 10
Thursday, June 16th - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday, June 17th – 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday, June 18th – 7:00 am - 12:00 pm

Exhibitors Hours

Suites 4,5,6,7
Thursday, June 16th – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, June 17th – 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, June 18th – 7:00 am – 12:00 pm

Thursday, June 16th

8:00 am - 4:00 pmRegistration

9:45 am – 10:00 am Welcome - Billy Scott, Clark County Coroner, ISCA President
Welcome – Phil Zahm, Huntington County Chief Deputy Coroner, CTB Chairman
Opening Ceremony - Gordon Becher, Knox County Deputy Coroner
Presentations of the Colors - Indiana State Police Color Guard
National Anthem - Voices of the Indianapolis Fire Department

10:00 am - NoonCriminal Asphyxiation that includes Drowning: identification, recognition, documentation, investigation, and prosecution., Andrea Zaferes

12:00 pm - 1:00 pmLunch (provided)

Taste of Tuscany - Fresh Caesar salad with shaved parmesan cheese and garlic croutons, antipasto pasta salad, chicken marsala, penne pasta with bacon, garden fresh peas, roasted red pepper and creamy asiago sauce, and freshly baked warm breadsticks.

1:00 pm - 3:00 pmAquatic-related fatality, nonfatal/fatal abuse, sexual assault, torture and homicide recognition and investigation, Andrea Zaferes

3:00 pm - 3:15 pmBreak

3:15 pm - 3:30 pmThe AIC serves the best interest of county officials, counties, and taxpayers. David Bottorff, AIC, Executive Director

3:30 pm - 5:00 pmMass Fatality Incident, April 15, 2021 (FedEx), Alfie Ballew, Chief Deputy Coroner, Marion County

7:00 pm - 11:00 pmGathering Room, Sponsored by Capitol Assets

7:00 pm - 11:00 pmEuchre and Corn Hole Tournament

Friday, June 17th

7:00 am - 4:00 pmRegistration

8:00 am - 8:15 amAnnouncements

8:15 am - 10:00 amLaboratory Resources and Emerging Technologies for Unidentified Human Remains and Missing Persons Investigations, Stacy Bozinovski, ISP, Laboratory Manager

10:00 am- 10:15 amBreak

10:15 am – 11:15 amVicarious Trauma: What about the “Last Responders?”, Kathryn C. Seigfried-Spellar & Allison Gaines

11:15 am – NoonAwards Ceremony

12:00 pm - 1:00 pmGeneral Business Meeting for Paid Coroners Only or their Proxy (lunch provided) (Suites 4&5)

Backyard B.B.Q. - Spicy chili with cheddar cheese and onions, summer fruit salad, creamy cole slaw, buttered corn on the cob, baked beans, grilled 1/4 lb burgers,Johnsonville® bratwurst, warm buns, appropriate condiments, homemade lemonade

1:00 pm – 5:15 pmEach workshop will be 1 hour and 15 minutes long and you will switch to attend each one.

  • Workshop #1 Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit: What’s Inside the Box (Plaza A&B)
  • Workshop #2 Death Scene Investigation, Death Certificates, Duty ... Oh my! (Suites 6&7)
  • Workshop #3 The Cold Case Revolution: Investigative Genetic Genealogy (Plaza C&D)


1:00 pm - 2:15 pm 

2:15 pm - 2:30 pmSwitch Workshop

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm 

3:45 pm - 4:00 pmSwitch Workshop

4:00 pm - 5:15 pm 

7:30 pm – 9:30 pmCoroners Casino Night (Clearwater Ballroom)

9:30 pm - 11:00 pmGathering Room Sponsored by Capitol Assets (Clearwater Ballroom)

Saturday, June 18th

7:00 am – 10:00 amRegistration

8:00 am – 8:15 amAnnouncements

8:15 am – NoonDrug Toxicity Medicolegal Death Investigation, John Fudenberg, Dr. James Caruso, Dr. Michelle Rippy, Erin Worrell

The IACME has provided this training free of charge to the Indiana Coroner’s Association with support from the NNPHI through a cooperative agreement with the CDC. Please visit www.theiacme.com for details about the IACME’s training opportunities and accreditation process.

You will be required to scan in each day and upon returning from lunch breaks. Please remember to bring your ISCA issued ID card. If you have lost yours, a new one will be available for $5.00.

Breaks are given at the discretion of the speaker. Video and/or audio taping of any sessions or parts thereof is not permitted. Although precautions are taken to prevent schedule changes, speakers and program schedules may change due to unforeseen circumstances.

No one under the age of 18 will be permitted into the lecture area.

Please turn off all cell phones and pagers or put them on vibrate or be subject to $5.00 fine per incident going to the Dr. David Dennis scholarship fund.

A special thank you goes to the Indiana State Coroners Association Board of Directors and the Indiana State Coroners Training Board members for their continued foresight on behalf of the Coroners of the state of Indiana.

Indiana State Coroners Association

Billy Clark, Clark County CoronerISCA President
Ed Cripe, Clinton County CoronerISCA Vice President
Doug Banks, Decatur County CoronerISCA Secretary/Treasurer
Lisa Barker, Tippecanoe County Deputy CoronerExecutive Director
Dr. Jon Brandenberger, Allen County CoronerAt-Large
Kristin Enoch, Carroll County CoronerAt-Large
John Grolich, Marshall County CoronerImmediate Past President
Phil Zahm, Huntington County Chief Deputy Coroner2nd Past President

Board of Directors

Charity Banks, Decatur CountyGordon Becher, Knox County
Leslie Cook, Adams CountyMarian Dunnichay, Tipton County
Mark Franklin, Lawrence CountyDavid Hunt, Tippecanoe County
Roger Lewis, Parke County Deputy CoronerDr. Steven Seele, Howard County

ISCA Lobbyist

Rick CockrumCapitol Assets, LLC
Sydnee CseresznyesCapitol Assets, LLC

Indiana State Coroners Training Board

Phil Zahm, Huntington Co. Chief Deputy CoronerISDH Chairman
Major Steve HollandIndiana State Police
Doug Banks, Decatur County CoronerBoard Member (Republican)
Chris Brown, Crawford County CoronerBoard Member (Democrat)
Jeri D. Good, Fulton County CoronerBoard Member (Republican) Vice Chairwomen
Joani Shields, Monroe County CoronerBoard Member (Democrat)
Lisa Barker, Tippecanoe CountyExecutive Administrative Assistant
Tony Ciriello, Kosciusko CountyDirector of Training

Andrea Zaferes, a medicolegal death investigator, is familiar with the handling of pediatric aquatic and asphyxiation cases from the scene to the courtroom. She trains law enforcement, medical examiners/coroners, dive teams, domestic violence and trafficking crime workers, medical personnel, and jurisprudence members to recognize, document, and investigate pediatric homicide, death, assault, and abuse cases that involve drowning, aquatics, and other forms of asphyxiation. She assists in analyzing and building such cases in the U.S. and abroad and has developed standards for their investigation. She has been teaching dive teams around the world for more than 30 years to recover submerged evidence and bodies, is an author, and frequent public speaker on aquatic forensics. She is a probono consultant for such organizations as NCMEC and the NYS DCJS Missing Person Cold Case Review Panel, and works with Lifeguard Systems, Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office, and Respond Against Violence.

David Bottorff worked for the Indiana House of Representatives for 10 years. In 1999, David joined the Association of Indiana Counties as the Legislative Director. In 2004, David was named as the Executive Director of the Association of Indiana Counties. He serves as primary staff to the AIC Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He has served on several committees for the National Association of Counties (NACo). He is a registered lobbyist and a board member for the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute. He is also a member of the State’s Evidence Based Decision Making (EBDM) Team and the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council (JRAC).

Alfarena T. McGinty, MBA, MDI (Alfie) is currently the Chief Deputy Coroner at the Marion County Coroner’s Office in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is an Indiana certified Medicolegal Death Investigator and has worked at the Marion County Coroner’s Office for over 24 years. She is the first African American female appointed as Chief Deputy Coroner in Marion County and has served in that capacity for 16 years. As Chief Deputy Coroner, she is responsible for the agency operations, managing a staff of 40, including Deputy Coroners, Autopsy Assistants and Administrative Office staff. Overseeing and managing 9 contractual Forensic Pathologists and other professional service providers for the office. She oversees over 3000 death investigations annually, coordinates trainings and education for the staff, and develops agency work policies and procedures. Alfie has supervised the death scene investigation and management of three mass shootings in Indianapolis in 2021, including the nationally known, April 15 Incident that involved the Fed Ex Facility where 8 people were killed, and the shooter committed suicide. For fun, Alfie owns and operates the Gobble Food Truck, started by her father 20 years ago. Gobble is a savory food truck that sells the best jumbo turkey legs at the Indiana State Fair! Gobble recently won 2nd place in the 2021 State Fair Food Contest featuring the BBQ Suga Momma! Unfortunately, work and fun sometimes collide, and switching hats during the tragic stage collapse event at the Indiana State Fair 10 years ago, was an example of having to always be ready for the job. https://youtu.be/ANFW9LDFtBg

Stacy Bozinovski is a Forensic Scientist with the Indiana State Police where she performs serological examinations, nuclear DNA analysis, and Y-STR analysis. She has more than 15 years of experience providing forensic services to over 2,000 cases including some of the most complex cases across the state. She also specializes in criminal paternity, missing persons, and unidentified human remains investigations. She is currently participating in the validation of a massive parallel sequencing platform which will provide the capability for ISP Laboratory to perform in-house sequencing analysis. Ms. Bozinovski earned her Master of Science degree in Forensic Science from Marshall University after earning her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Indiana University. She is certified by the American Board of Criminalistics and is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists.

Kathryn C. Seigfried-Spellar, PhD is an Associate Professor in the cyberforensics program in the Department of Computer and Information Technology (CIT) at Purdue University. She studies the intersection between the behavioral sciences and technology facilitated crime and digital forensics. Her most recent work focuses on the psychological well-being and job satisfaction of digital forensic examiners exposed to disturbing media. Dr. Seigfried-Spellar is also a member of the Tippecanoe High Tech Crime Unit and has Special Deputy status for the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office. She is a Fellow of the Digital and Multimedia Sciences section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA), and member of the American Psychological Association.

Allison Gaines, M.S. F-ABMDI is a Board-Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator currently working for the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Office in Marietta, Georgia. Previously, she was employed by the Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Woodbine, New Jersey. With ten years of experience and an unrelenting passion for the field of death investigation, Allison wants to bring awareness to the importance of preserving the mental and physical health of Medical Examiner and Coroner personnel. Her research has been presented at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and she was featured in the C13Originals podcast “One Click,” discussing the dangers of 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) and societal beauty standards.

Leslie Cook, MDI has been a regional forensic nurse examiner with the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center since 1996 providing comprehensive medical forensic examinations to men, women, and children in northeast Indiana.

When not providing direct patient care, Ms. Cook is responsible for education and outreach. Clinically, she is responsible for the direct oversight and preceptorship of nurses who have completed the didactic component of SANE training for both adult/adolescent and pediatric programs. When not in the clinic, Ms. Cook is highly visible within the communities of northeast Indiana providing educational opportunities and consultation to a variety of professionals, students and the lay population on sexual assault response teams and topics of sexual violence across the lifespan.

She received her Adult/Adolescent SANE training at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1995 and her Pediatric SANE training through an advanced course taught by Ms. Jamie Ferrell in Fort Wayne, Indiana in addition to a fellowship with Dr. Judy Guinn from Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1998/1999. Ms. Cook obtained her SANE-A board certification in June 2003 and her SANE-P certification in May 2007. Her nursing background includes critical care/emergency at Parkview Memorial Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In 1998 Ms. Cook explored other opportunities in Forensics and was appointed Coroner of Adams County, Indiana. She was the first Registered Nurse in the county’s history to hold this position and went on to serve 4 terms as the elected coroner. After 24 years, she is currently serving as Chief Deputy Coroner. She received her board certification as a Medicolegal Death Investigator (MDI) in 1999. She is active on the board of directors for the Indiana Coroner’s Association as well as an instructor for the Indiana Coroner’s Training Board.

Andrea Ackermann, M.S., M.H.A. is the co-founder of Forgen Consulting, LLC, a company that specializes in forensic genetic genealogy. Andrea is experienced in using advanced autosomal DNA techniques to identify unknown decedents, criminal perpetrators, and unknown parents. She first became interested in investigative genetic genealogy while attempting to identify biological relatives of Lisa Jensen, who was kidnapped as a baby by serial killer Terry Rasmussen. She has solved cases involving degraded DNA, multi-generational adoption, multiple aliases, and children of sex workers. Andrea is a founding leader of the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group and frequently lectures on genetic genealogy topics. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, and other state genealogical societies. Andrea has a master’s in animal nutrition with a minor in biostatistics and a masters in hospital and health administration.

Steven Frank J.D. is a professional genealogist and attorney. A passionate genealogist for over 20 years, Steven was quick to adopt DNA as a genealogy tool. He has helped over 150 adoptees and persons on unknown parentage reconnect with their birth parents through the use of commercial DNA tests. Steven also specializes in identifying the families of war orphans in Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. Prior to joining Foreign Consulting, Steven was Deputy Attorney General for the State of Indiana. In 2016 he used generic genealogy techniques in the state’s case against Dr. Donald Cline, an Indianapolis fertility doctor who fathered dozens of children via the women he treated. Steven is a highly sought presenter on autosomal DNA topics and regularly speaks at genealogy conferences around the country.

*Courtney Gwin, MSW, LSW serves as the Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID)/Sudden Death in the Young (SDY) Case Registry Program Manager at the Indiana Department of Health. As the Program Manager, she hosts Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation (SUIDI) trainings and works with coroners to ensure death scenes and autopsies are comprehensive and complete and provides a connection to ensure that genetic testing is available and funded if needed for accurately identifying and classifying cause of death. Courtney is licensed social worker and received her Master’s in Social Work from Indiana University.

Caitlyn Short, MPH serves as the Suicide and Overdose Fatality Review Program at the Indiana Department of Health. Her background is in Developmental, and Family Sciences and she has a master’s degree in Public Health. Caitlyn provides technical assistance and support to local Suicide/Overdose Fatality Review teams across Indiana.

Christiana Patterson, BSW is the Maternal Mortality Review Coordinator for Indiana Department of Health. She is a social work professional, with 10 years of experience, involving investigations and abuse against women and children.

*Karen Demont lost her child, Erin, to sudden unexplained death with epilepsy (SUDEP), and is dedicated to sharing Erin’s story to increase awareness and prevention.

John Fudenbergis the Executive Director for the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (IACME) and the owner of Fudenberg and Associates which specializes in private consulting services in the medicolegal profession, disaster preparedness and legislative services.

John retired in 2020 after over thirty years of public service in law enforcement and the medicolegal profession. John served as the Coroner for the Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner (CCOCME) in Las Vegas, Nevada and was employed with that office since 2003. John was a Diplomat with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), a past commissioner of the National Commission on Forensic Science, the former Chair of the Scientific Working Group on Medicolegal Death Investigation (SWGMDI), the former chair of National Institute of Standards & Technology Organization of Scientific Area Medicolegal Sub-committee (NIST OSAC) and currently serves as the chair of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Standards Board (ASB) Medicolegal Death Investigation Consensus Body. John is a past president of the IACME and has served on numerous federal working groups over the past 2 decades.

In October 2017, John led the critical incident response team after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, bringing to the forefront the need for continuous planning, coordination, and training in the medicolegal death investigation field as well as the need to aggressively address wellness/mental health in Coroner/Medical Examiner Offices.

Dr. Jim Carusois the Chief Medical Examiner and Coroner for the City and County of Denver. He received his undergraduate and medical training at the University of Illinois, followed by a clinical internship at the Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, VA. After internship, Dr. Caruso served as the Medical Officer for the USS Trenton, deploying to Europe, Panama, the Persian Gulf, and Somalia. After completing diving and submarine medicine training, he served as the Diving Medical Officer for Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Nine in Vallejo, CA.

Dr. Caruso then completed a Pathology residency and a fellowship in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and served as a hospital pathologist at the Naval Hospital in Pensacola, FL. He subsequently completed training as a Naval Flight Surgeon followed by a Forensic Pathology fellowship at the Office of the Maryland Medical Examiner in Baltimore. Dr. Caruso then served as Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for the Armed Forces and Regional Armed Forces Medical Examiner for Asia and the Pacific, along with other Navy assignments.

Captain Caruso retired in January 2014 to take the position of Chief Medical Examiner and Coroner for Denver, Colorado, which is where he is presently employed. Dr. Caruso has published numerous scientific abstracts, peer-reviewed papers, and book chapters in the areas of forensic pathology and diving medicine. He and his wife Pamela have two daughters and reside in Castle Rock, CO.

Dr. Michelle Rippy has spent over ten years in medicolegal investigations and administration in the San Francisco Bay Area. Having worked as a medicolegal death investigator, forensic autopsy technician, supervisor, and chief operating officer, Dr. Rippy has trained medicolegal personnel and developed formal training programs for investigators and autopsy technicians. To remain current with trends and best practices, Dr. Rippy has written and updated policies and procedures to improve efficiency and reduce risk.

Dr. Rippy earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in forensic science and a doctorate in organizational change and leadership. Presently, Dr. Rippy is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at California State University East Bay and has served over 20 years as a reserve police officer.

Dr. Rippy remains engaged in the educational and medicolegal communities, including being the treasurer of the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners and a death investigator for the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team. Dr. Rippy’s research interests are rooted in medicolegal investigations, training and education of investigators, and teaching strategies in forensic science and criminal justice.

Erin Worrell has 16 years of experience working as a Medicolegal Death Investigator. She is currently the Chief of Investigations at the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner in Denver, Colorado where she has worked since 2019. Prior to the Denver Office she worked as a Medicolegal death Investigator shift supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2013 Erin Worrell became a registered Diplomate with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigation. She is currently a member of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT), the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), and has given multiple presentations and posters at both organizations. Erin Worrell has lectured all over the country on Medicolegal Death Investigator on Drug Related Deaths and is currently serving as a Subject Matter Expert on the Opioid/Drug Overdose committee for the International Association Coroner & Medico Examiners (IAC&ME) as well as serves on the AAFS Opioid and Emerging Drugs Committee.

Dress Code

The ISCA is a professional association, and we need to project that image to the general public. The conference is a group of professionals learning about death investigation and gathering for networking.

Based on this, we as the board are implementing that the attire will be business/casual. This will be monitored by the ISCA board of directors, so please do not embarrass yourself or the board and dress appropriately while you are representing your county at the conference.


Anyone attending wishing to observe COVID-19 precautions may do so, but it is not mandated during the conference.

General Session Attendance

The conference is for in-service training for the elected coroners and deputy coroners, therefore the ISCA must enforce those only coroners and their deputies that hold a current association ID badge and are a Medicolegal Death Investigator are present in the general sessions. Spouses are welcome to attend any other event held outside of the actual general session.

General Business Meeting

The general business meeting will be held on Friday, June 17th from Noon – 1:00 pm. (This will be a working luncheon). This meeting is open to coroners who have paid their membership for 2022. Each county coroner with a paid membership shall have one vote in the general business meeting.

Euchre & Corn Hole Tournaments

Capitol Assets will host the Gathering Room along with a Euchre & Corn Hole Tournaments on Thursday, June 16th from 7pm – 11:00 pm.

Coroners Casino Night

ISCA will host the Coroners Casino Night along with Capitol Assets sponsoring the Gathering Room.


The Crowner Awards and Dr. David Dennis Scholarship Awards will be announced Friday, June 17th from 11:15 am - Noon.

Andrea Zaferes

Drowning, like several other types of asphyxiation, is a diagnosis of exclusion. Body-reportedlyfound-in-water deaths are often equivocal in nature. Land-based asphyxiations can be staged as accidental or suicidal drownings. A toddler can be suffocated with a pillow and placed in a pond to stage an accidental drowning. A suffocated woman can be placed in a bathtub or submerged vehicle. Homicidal drowning can be staged as landbased accidents, suicides, or natural deaths. Cause and manner of death are often dependent on circumstances in asphyxiation cases. Autopsy findings alone might not be able to determine intent or sometimes even cause of death. Thorough, unbiased, investigations are critical for determining actual causes and manners of death. This presentation presents the intersection between criminal asphyxiation that includes either actual or staged drowning in the contexts of child abuse, intimate partner violence, trafficking, and other crimes. Attendees will learn what questions to ask, how to recognize red flags of incident and scene staging, common investigative mistakes, the many gaps in which cases can be missed or misdiagnosed, and what we can do to help close these gaps.


    #1 Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit: What’s Inside the Box (Leslie Cook)

    This workshop will take attendees through the State of Indiana Sex Crimes Kit one step at a time. The presenter will instruct on current best practices, using case studies across the lifespan and provide resources to assist the investigator with the information and tools necessary to investigate when sexual assault is suspected.

    #2 Death Scene Investigation, Death Certificates, Duty … Oh my! (Courtney Gwin)

    You’ve heard that the autopsy begins at the scene, but did you know prevention does too? The work you do is imperative to learn what happened and is the first step in preventing future deaths. In this session, we’ll be reviewing death scene investigations, new legislation, and how to complete death certificates for infants, children, maternal deaths, and deaths due to suicide and overdose. With insights and lessons learned from fatality review, this session will provide practical examples to help improve death scene investigations and completion of death certificates and offer information about funding opportunities to help you do this important work.

    #3 The Cold Case Revolution: Investigative Genetic Genealogy (Andrea Ackerman & Steven Frank)

    Forgen Consulting, LLC is pleased to offer this exclusive training workshop on investigative genetic genealogy for the Indiana Coroners Association.

    In 2018, the identity of the Golden State killer was revealed through the use of investigative genetic genealogy. Today, hundreds of unidentified human remains have regained their names and violent perpetrators of unsolved crimes have been identified. This presentation provides an overview of the science behind this new type of genetic testing, the tools used, and methodologies involved. Topics include the difference between SNP sequencing and traditional STR panels (CODIS), genotyping versus phenotyping, and the statistical prediction of relationships. Learn how ethnicity, surnames, locations, and traits can all be deduced from autosomal DNA. Explore real world examples of the power of investigative genetic genealogy to solve decades old cold cases.

Exhibitor Door Prizes

The exhibitors will be in the Ballroom during the general session. We encourage you to visit the exhibitors throughout the days to be eligible to win door prizes. Door Prizes will be given away during the awards ceremony on Friday, June 17th. *You must be in attendance to win.

Brain Bucket Bingo

Do not forget your dollar bills! Bring your dollar bills and win daily door prizes donated by the Indiana State Coroners Association Board of Directors, Exhibitors, Coroners and Deputy Coroners. You are welcome to bring prizes to be given away from you and your county. All proceeds will be donated to the Dr. David Dennis Scholarship fund. *You must be in the room to win.

Sheraton Restaurant

The Sheraton Hotel will offer a 20% discount in the restaurant for dinner during your stay.

Educational Hours

Medicolegal Death Investigators – This conference is approved by the Coroners Training Board for 18.5 hours for the full conference.

Law Enforcement – This conference is approved by the Coroners Training Board for 18.5 hours for the full conference.

Funeral Directors – This conference is pending by the Indiana Funeral Directors Association.

EMS/Paramedic – This conference is approved by Indiana Department of Homeland Security for 18 hours for the full conference.

Conference Registration

The CTB will cover the registration fee for any Coroner and Deputy Coroner that is a Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator and is in good standing with their CEU hours.

Other attendees are welcome to attend - $300.00 full conference, $100.00 – 1 day conference and ½ day conference - $50.00

Download fillable for Email or Postal Mail (DOC file)Download Fillable Form (pdf file)

Contact Lisa Barker if you have questions, need to register or update an existing registration.

Click to contact

General Directions to the Sheraton Hotel & Suites

From Interstate 69 (North)
Take Interstate 465 West to Exit 33. Proceed south to the next Exit (86th Street). Turn left on 86th Street and turn left at the second light. The hotel is located behind the mall on the right.

From Interstate 65 (South)
Take Interstate 465 East to Interstate 465 North. Follow I-465 North to Keystone Avenue (Exit 33). Turn left and go under the road. Take the 86th Street Exit and turn left at the light. Turn left again at the second light. The hotel is located behind the mall on the right.

From East
Take Interstate 74 or Interstate 70 to Interstate 465 North. Continue on I-465 North to Keystone Avenue (Exit 33). Turn left and go under the road. Take the 86th Street Exit and turn left at the light. Turn left again at the second light, the hotel is located behind the mall on the right.

From Interstate 31 (North)
Take Interstate 31 North to Interstate 465 East. Continue on I-465 East to Exit 33. Proceed south to the next Exit (86th Street). Turn left on 86th Street and turn left at the second light. The hotel is located behind the mall on the right.

From Indianapolis International Airport (West)
Take Interstate 70 West to Interstate 74 West. Continue on I-74 West to Interstate 465 North. Proceed on I-465 North to Interstate 465 East to Keystone Avenue (Exit 33). Turn right and continue to the next exit (86th Street). Turn left at the second light. The hotel is located behind the mall on the right.

From Interstate 65 (North)
Take Interstate 865 East to Interstate 465 East. Continue on I-465 East to Exit 33. Proceed South to the next Exit (86th Street). Turn left on 86th Street and turn left at the second light. The hotel is located behind the mall on the right.