Kankakee County Coroner
Kankakee County Coroner


Kankakee County Coroner and Staff


Kankakee County Coroner - Robert Gessner

Employment history:

Robert Gessner started his career in 1969 with the Kankakee Fire Department where he served as a firefighter for 30 years prior to his retirement in 1999.  While serving as a firefighter, Gessner also worked part time teaching EMT-A and EMT-I, paramedic, and education classes.  He also worked part time in St. Mary's emergency room and EMS office.  Gessner became a Deputy Coroner in 1984 and was later appointed as Chief Deputy Coroner in 2000.  When James Kelly left office at the end of 2003, Robert Gessner was appointed Coroner.  He was later elected to the position in November of 2004.


Robert Gessner is a member of and the secretary for the Illinois Coroners and Medical Examiners Assocation. On the Board Illinois Terrorism Task Force He was a Past Chairman for the EMS Council for the Illinois Association of Firefighters, a previous president of Kankakee Firefighters Local 653 (1976 - 1988), and is a current President Emeritus of Firefighters Local 653.  He is a member of the Eastern Illinois Police Chief Association, the Joliet Crime Lab Advisory Board, the Kankakee Chamber of Commerce, The NAACP, and the Cook County Medical Examiners Disaster Response Team, and the Illinois Department Public Health Maternal Mortaliy Review Committee.


Robert Gessner is a certified Fire Investigator.  He has passed the NIMS IS-100, IS-200, IS-300, IS-400, IS-700, and IS-800 National Incident Management System courses.  Other training includes:

- Basic Mandated Firearms Training Program (2004) 
- Medicolegal Death Investigations - Detroit, Michigan (2008, 2009, 2010)
- Masters Course in Death Investigation - St. Louis School of Medicine (2003)
- Medicolegal Death Investigation Conference - Collinsville, Illinois (2002)
- Practical Homicide Investigation
- Advanced Practical Homicide Investigation (2004)
- Homicide Symposium for Major Crimes Task Force (2005)
- Illinois County Coroners' Basic Training (2005)
- International Homicide Investigators Association (2007 Symposium)
- 16th Annual Medicolegal Death Investigation Conference
- 17th Annual Medicolegal Death Investigation Conference
- Forensic Digital Imaging; Phase 1 and Phase 2
- Crime Scene Photography (2009)
- Illinois Homicide Investigation Association Training Conference (2010)
- Entomology for the Homicide Investigation Workshop (2010)


 Chief Deputy, Eric Cavender

Chief Deputy - Eric L. Cavender

Eric Cavender joined the Kankakee County Coroner's Office in December of 2008.  In June of 2014, Eric was appointed as the Chief Deputy Coroner.  Eric is a 2008 graduate of Momence High School, a 2010 graduate of Kankakee Community College and a 2011 graduate of Carl Sandburg College where he earned his degree in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service.  He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the State of Illinois.  Eric has completed the Medicolegal Death Investigation Training course offered at the University of St. Louis.  He has also completed the Command and General Staff class, Lead Homicide Investigator Course, Practical Homicide Investigation Class as well as many other death investigation classes.  Eric is a member of the Cook County Disaster Response Team, The Hundred Club of Kankakee County and the Eastern Illinois Law Enforcement Administrators Association where he serves as the Secretary.  Eric is married to Kaitlain.  He is a resident of Bourbonnais and is looking forward to spending many years working for the Coroner's Office.

Katie Coroner Picture.jpg

Administrative Assistant/Deputy Coroner - Katie Bukowski

Katie Bukowski joined the Kankakee County Coroner's office in April of 2013. Katie was enrolled at KCC for PTA and transitioned to the Kankakee County Coroner's office to pursue her love for forensics.  Katie Is looking forward to bringing her knowledge in her medical background.


Deputy Coroner - Mark A. Posing

Mark Posing began his career as a local firefighter in 1984. During his time as a firefighter, he was certified as a fire service and EMS instructor for the State of Illinois. He was also trained in hazardous materials operations and technical rescue. In April of 2004, Mark joined the Coroner's Office as a deputy Coroner, bringing with him his extensive medical and fire knowledge. He has since attended Medicolegal Death Investigation Training. He has completed the NIMS IS-700.



Deputy Coroner - William J. Perkins

William Perkins began with the Coroner's Office in February of 2007. In conjunction with working for the Coroner's Office, he also works full time as a Lieutenant with Manteno Fire District.  He has over two decades of experience in fire and emergency medical service.  He has extensive training in hazardous materials, is a fire service instructor, and has completed Basic Mandated Firearms Training, Medicolegal Death Investigation Training, and National Fire Academy Command and General Staff Training.  He has also completed the NIMS 100, 200, 700, and 800 courses.


Deputy Coroner - Thomas M. Rath

Thomas Rath has been a firefighter since 1991 and became a licensed Paramedic in 1994.  During his career as a firefighter he obtained State of Illinois certifications as Instructor I, Hazmat Operations, Lead Paramedic Instructor as well as NIMS 100, 200, 700 and 800 courses.  In February of 2012, Thomas joined the Kankakee County Coroner�s Office as a part time Deputy Coroner and in August of 2014 he became a full time Deputy Coroner. Thomas has attended the Medicolegal Death Investigator Training Course at Saint Louis University and the Lead Homicide Investigator Course.

Deputy Coroner - Guy L. Maisonneuve

In 2014, Guy Maisonneuve was hired part time at the Kankakee County Coroners Office.  Guy works full time for the Kankakee Fire Department and brings extensive knowledge of the fire service to the Coroners Office.  Guy is married and is a resident of Manteno.

Deputy Coroner - Bryan S. LaRoche

Bryan LaRoche is a lifelong resident of the City of Kankakee. Bryan is married with two children. He received a Master of Science in Fire Service and Homeland Security Management, 2013 from Southern Illinois University, a Bachelors of Science / Fire Science Management, 2006 from Southern Illinois University and a   Associates  of Applied Science degree in  Paramedic Supervision, 2002, from Kankakee Community College

Bryan has fourteen years of serving the public with employment in the Public Safety field as Firefighter / Supervisor and Emergency Medical Technician.  He is a Captain with the Kankakee Fire Department, and also a firefighter paramedic with the Braidwood Fire Protection District as well as a fire investigator and a fire service instructor.

Some of the certifications which he holds are: Command & General Staff Functions for Local Incident Management Teams, Certified Fire Investigations, NIMS 100,200, 700, 800. Bryan also hold multiple certifications in Hazardous materials response, and Technical Rescue.