Possible Forensic Center in the Basin Could Save Time and Money

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Plans are in the works that could save thousands of West Texas tax dollars, and hours of time for law enforcement. A Texas-based company tells NewsWest 9, construction will soon start on a new forensic center that will perform autopsies in Odessa.

Information is still in the early stages, but the move would bring a licensed pathologist and a facility that will perform autopsies in Odessa. Currently, officials with Southeast Texas Forensic Center are talking with several counties here in the Basin, including Ector about their plans. 

On Tuesday, company officials told NewsWest 9 since the beginning of this year, they've been talking with local Justices of the Peace to see if they would welcome their services. Right now, whenever there is a fatal accident or murder, the victim's bodies are sent from many West Texas counties to Tarrant County in North Texas. However, if the talks pan out, company officials said they plan to run a new "Permain Basin Forensic Center."

Ector County officials told NewsWest 9, the details are still in the early stages, but local law enforcement in Odessa said if a Forensic Center does come to the area, it will save time and money.

"The first 48 hours of any investigation are absolutely vital, particularly when you are trying to develop very important pieces of material information relative to the death and the cause of the death," Odessa Police Chief Timothy Burton, explained. "This would greatly enhance our ability to investigate cases involving death and to bring them to a conclusion faster and more accurately then we are currently able to."

Company officials also tell NewsWest 9, construction will soon start on their facility at the corner of 3rd and Sam Houston. In addition, we've learned the CEO will be in town next week to meet with officials of the Medical Examiners Office.