by Travis Mateer
This week the death certificate information regarding the death of Joey Thompson has finally been released. Why did it take nearly 2 months? Possibly because the court process I’ve been calling the HAMMER OF MANDAMUS had a hearing coming up this week, so I think preparing for that was taking up a lot of Sheriff Funke’s time.
Here are the very unsatisfactory results, along with the lackluster response from the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office (emphasis definitely mine):
Thompson’s death certificate, filed last week, lists his cause of death as drowning in a period of minutes in the river. However, in a space on the certificate for an explanation of how the injury occurred, it says “undetermined.”
The manner of death (i.e. whether it was an accident, homicide, suicide or natural) is also listed as “could not be determined”.
According to a news release from the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office sent out in April, detectives followed information on the events leading up to and after Thompson’s disappearance. They believe no criminal activity was suspected in his disappearance, the news release stated.
Mineral County Deputy Coroner Jack Hughes directed questions about the “undetermined” language on Thompson’s death certificate to the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office.
When asked for more information on Thompson’s disappearance, Missoula County Sheriff spokesperson Jeannette Smith said, “We have released all available information regarding Joseph Thompson,” but confirmed the investigation is ongoing.
When I spoke with Sheriff Funke last Friday, I acknowledged that, being a journalist and all, there might be a good reason why I haven’t received a call back from Detective Deibert after my initial phone call/voicemail on May 4th, but if there IS an investigation happening, then maybe some communication with Missoula County Commissioners would help.
In other cases, if there are person(s) of interest who have disappeared, or have otherwise made themselves unavailable to investigators, appeals to the public can be made through local media. Just a thought.
I had another thought about the claim that ALL AVAILABLE INFORMATION has been released, and that thought was along the lines of kinda sounds like bullshit, so I sent off an email:
If you would like to know more about this case, this post from last Friday has links to 7 additional articles I’ve written since Joey went missing on April 11th. I’m sure there will be more to report as CITIZENS do the investigative work DETECTIVES should be doing.
Thanks for reading!