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State approves exhumation of Blackfoot man who died by gunshot in 2021

Kye Stephenson | Courtesy Stephenson family
BLACKFOOT — The state attorney general’s office has approved the exhumation of a man who died in 2021.
The body of Kye Stephenson will be exhumed, according to his mother Stacey Stephenson, who informed Wednesday that the state has signed off on the exhumation.
RELATED | After his death was ruled a suicide, a Blackfoot man’s family is left with more questions than answers
Kye died from a single gunshot wound to the head on Aug. 6, 2021. His death was ruled a suicide following a very brief investigation by responding Blackfoot police officers.
In the days following his death, Kye’s parents raised questions about police and coroner reports they obtained.
One of the things they immediately questioned was the ruling that Kye shot himself on the right side of his head. As they explained to officials, Kye was left-handed and only handled his guns with his left hand.
After a back and forth with police officials and the Bingham County Coroner’s Office, the ruling of a right-side entry was changed to a left-side entry. But the Stephensons have questioned the ruling, as there was never an autopsy completed.
The family also questions the claim that Kye was highly intoxicated, mixing alcohol with prescription anti-depressants. But, at the time of his death, no toxicology was done to confirm his use of the medications or excessive use of alcohol.
Current coroner, Jimmy Roberts — who was not coroner at the time of Kye’s death — has supported the idea of exhuming Kye’s body and attaining answers for his family.
Stacey told her family understands the outcome of further investigation could result in the confirmation of the initial ruling. As she explained, with the lack of clear answers to her questions, her family cannot move on and find its “new normal” until a complete investigation is completed.
According to Roberts, the Ada County Coroner’s Office and the state forensic pathology lab have been informed of the need for an autopsy.
Once Roberts receives the written approval from the state, an exhumation and an autopsy will be scheduled.
The post State approves exhumation of Blackfoot man who died by gunshot in 2021 appeared first on East Idaho News.

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