Hobart police won’t seek charges against county coroner despite estranged husband’s complaints
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent March 8, 2013 5:06PM
Merillee Frey, candidate for Lake County Coroner. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet
Updated: April 11, 2013 6:54AM
HOBART — Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey has been named in police reports as a possible suspect in acts of vandalism to her estranged husband’s apartment and car and missing items from his business.
No charges have been filed against Frey, and Hobart police Lt. Dave Grissom said the cases have been closed.
“We spoke with the coroner and she denied any involvement. There is no proof she did anything. No charges have been filed,” Grissom said Friday.
Merrilee Frey did not return repeated phone calls over several days. Her estranged husband, William Frey, who owns an eye care clinic downtown, could not be reached at his office.
In a report filed Jan. 14, William Frey told police he parked his 2005 Honda Pilot outside his residence between 8 and 9 p.m. on Jan. 13. When he returned to the vehicle the next morning, he discovered two driver’s side tires were flattened.
Frey told police he believed the tires were flattened by his wife, but there was no evidence to support the allegation, according to Grissom.
On Feb. 6, William Frey told police he was getting out of the shower when he heard someone knock on the back door. He told police he heard a woman yelling, and he recognized the voice to be that of his estranged wife.
According to police, Frey continued to hear the yelling, then a loud noise that sounded like glass breaking. Frey told police he saw Merrilee Frey get into her Lake County Coroner’s Office-issued black Ford Explorer.
When police arrived, they found a 1-gallon paint can lying on an enclosed porch and shattered glass on the floor. One pane of glass was broken in a window.
In another report on Jan. 14, William Frey reported he found the doors to his business, Frey Eye Care, 341 Main St., unsecured and discovered several items had been taken including receipts and tax information.
Frey told police an employee had been in the office earlier in the day to do paperwork and saw a woman she reportedly identified as Merrilee Frey inside the building.
“There is no proof Merrilee Frey did anything illegal. There is no proof she broke the window and it is her business, too. There is no burglary,” Grissom said.
He said it is best to let their lawyers handle matters during the divorce.
“They can’t use the Police Department to figure out their problems,” Grissom said.