Fox59 News has learned Dr. John Reynolds, the Chief Health Officer for the Morgan County Health Department could be facing an indictment for causing the death of his former girlfriend, Sandra Kessler, 61.

Kessler died November 9, 2009. Her death was suspicious and an investigation began. Now a grand jury is reviewing evidence this week.

Fox59 News learned Dr. Reynolds is, what's called, the target suspect, meaning the lead suspect in causing Kessler's death. Dr. Reynolds remains in his job as the Health Department's spokesman. It's a job he's held for approximately 10 years. Meanwhile, Sandra's daughters are remembering their mom as the case comes to light.

"She was the most loving caring and most wonderful person in the whole wide world," said Stephanie, Sandra's adult daughter.


"She didn't deserve to die."

"Everyone loved her in this community, she worked here 15 years," said Cassandra Kessler, Sandra's other daughter.

Fox59 News obtained the Coroner's report that lists her cause of death as intoxication with the narcotics morphine and codeine.

"They're pain medications and the side effect is sedation and an overdose results in respiratory failure," said Dr. George Ostheimer, a board member of the Morgan County Health Department.

Ostheimer said he knows Dr. Reynolds well. The news Reynolds is the focus of a grand jury investigation, to him, comes as a surprise.

"The administrator at the health department said they'd been called as witnesses to testify and that's all she knew," said Dr. Ostheimer.

Fox59 News learned Sandra may have received the narcotics at Dr. Reynolds spacious home that sits on a hill a few miles outside of downtown Martinsville.

"I don't want to discuss that," said Dr. Reynolds at his front door when asked about Sandra's death. As for his former girlfriend's death from narcotics, Dr. Reynolds had little to say.

"I haven't seen the toxicology report and I'm just not willing to discuss it."

The night Sandra died, investigators said instead of calling nearby Morgan County for an ambulance, Dr. Reynolds dialed to a Columbus ambulance service way out of town. Investigators say they found that suspicious.

"He's never had any lapse in moral ground or in the professional realm, he's always been impeccable," said Dr. Ostheimer who recommended Reynolds for the Health Officer job a decade ago.

Board chairman Dr. Paul Broderick said by phone that Dr. Reynolds had done an excellent job as director.

Sandra's daughters don't wish to discuss evidence or their possible testimony in the grand jury proceedings. They simply want to remember their Mom as their best friend.

"She always worked so hard for us, we didn't have a lot of money growing up but she was always there for us," said Stephanie.

Another woman may also have been involved in the scenario. Dr. Reynolds was also reportedly facing financial problems. It's unclear how those factors played into Sandra Pressler's death but they are reported as relevent in the grand jury case. Fox59 News will follow the investigation and have an update possibly in the next 10 days if Reynolds is cleared or indicted.