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HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) — DeSoto County Coroner Jeffrey Pounders, the longest-serving elected official in the county, has died.

The Clarion-Ledger reports Sheriff Bill Rasco confirmed the death Monday. Pounders was 63.

Rasco says authorities who had been trying to reach Pounders found him dead at his home in the Nesbit area. He says the death appears to be from natural causes.

Pounders had served in the coroner’s post for 34 years. He was especially concerned about the rising opioid and heroin overdose problem in DeSoto County, which has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the state. In an interview last year, Pounders lamented that overdose victims were often found “with the needle still in their arm.”


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger,