Adrian Munoz, a 34-year-old investigator for the County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner, faces charges of grand theft and petty theft.
He is accused of removing a gold crucifix necklace from a deceased warehouse worker and keeping rare antique coins linked to another dead man. These incidents, detailed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, betray a significant breach of trust in a sensitive role.
Surveillance footage allegedly shows Munoz taking the necklace from a man who died of a heart attack in South Los Angeles and failing to return or document it. Further, rare coins were found in Munoz's desk, along with a receipt for another deceased individual, whom Munoz had previously investigated.
District Attorney George Gascón emphasized the grave violation of trust and desecration of the deceased's memory, stating that such acts are a "profound betrayal" of the medical examiner's office's duty to the dead and their grieving families.
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Odey Ukpo has assured that the office is taking these allegations seriously and is cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation. Munoz is currently on leave, and an arraignment date is yet to be set.