ME investigator accused of stealing from deceased

Jacksonville Medical Examiner's office employee accused of theft, misconduct

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Tallahassee and Jacksonville arrested Christopher Dwight Allen, 46, early Friday morning on charges of official misconduct, dealing in stolen property and false verification of ownership on pawnbroker transaction form.

The investigation began in May when relatives of a Hamilton County woman reported a ring, watch and necklace had been stolen from their loved one following her death. Agents said they reviewed pawn broker transactions and found Allen sold 62 pieces of jewelry to pawn shops within the previous year.

Investigators say at least some of the pawned items were stolen from deceased persons whom Allen had access to as a forensic investigator at the District 4 Medical Examiner's Office in Jacksonville.

Allen, of St. Johns County, was arrested around 7:30 a.m. at the Medical Examiner's Office and booked into the Duval County jail.

The Medical Examiner's Office and the city would not comment Friday.

Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said this could have an impact on criminal cases in Jacksonville that Allen may have been investigating.

"It can compromise the investigation simply because you got a suspicious death and some evidence like what that person was wearing and type of jewelry that person had," Jefferson said. "And someone in an official capacity is stealing it, he is compromising the investigation."

The state attorney's office said it is reviewing homicide cases to see if there is any effect on them.

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