Coroner: Officer died of blunt force trauma
ROCKFORD — While arrangements to honor the life of fallen police officer Jaimie Cox were announced Monday, the Winnebago County Coroner released the cause of death from the incident that claimed the young officer’s life.
A preliminary autopsy says Officer Cox was not shot, as initial reports and statements from the scene Sunday first indicated. The cause of death is listed as “blunt force trauma” by the coroner; the case is being treated as a homicide.
City officials told The Times Monday that Cox had been dragged by the vehicle of a man the officer had pulled over, 49-year-old Eddie Patterson. Patterson also suffered blunt force trauma in a collision following the incident, though he reportedly died as a result of gunshot wounds believed to have been fired by Officer Cox.
Officials told The Times that the plates on the vehicle Patterson was driving were not registered to that vehicle which may have prompted the stop. Cox became entangled in the suspect vehicle during the stop, resulting in the fatal injuries suffered early Sunday morning.
Mayor Tom McNamara said he was heartbroken by the death of Officer Cox, only the second Rockford police officer to lose his life on-duty in the past five decades. Rockford Police released a schedule of memorials and services to honor their fallen comrade Monday afternoon.
A joint investigation by the Rockford Police Department and the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force into the incident is ongoing. R.