Winnebago County Coroner allegedly stole from the dead, faces new charges

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz is facing six additional felony counts of theft and six counts of official misconduct for allegedly stealing property from the dead.

The new charges of theft and official misconduct were filed in Winnebago County court on Wednesday.

According to the criminal complaints, Hintz stole from the estates of at least three people, as well as taking money for cremations.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s indictments allege Hintz stole $2,500 from family members in order to recover the remains of their homeless loved ones, but kept the money for himself.

The indictment also alleges Hintz stole $14,500 in cash that belonged to deceased individuals out of the coroner’s office evidence vault.

“The defendant has demonstrated a clear pattern of using the office of the Winnebago County coroner to line his pockets,” Raoul said. “The defendant’s actions took advantage of grieving families and abused the trust of Winnebago County residents.”

Last year, the Winnebago County Sheriff asked the Illinois State Police to conduct an investigation which led to Hintz and his wife, Michelle’s, arrests.

In October 2020, the Hintz’ were arrested after the couple allegedly charged the county for a “New York Death Investigation Seminar” Hintz said he attended from Friday, January 31st to Saturday, February 1st.

Several hundred dollars were spent to allegedly rent a room at a Holiday Inn Express in Buffalo, New York, and for car rentals and gas.

Former Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said $15,818 of government funds were stolen in the crime.

Michelle Hintz is not facing any new charges.

Hintz is due back in court on September 22 in both cases.

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