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Family waits months to receive death certificate from NuCo Medical Examiner's Office

"She said the medical examiner said no, that no one wants to touch Doctor Shakers cases," said Adelida Sanchez.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A resident from Annaville is calling for answers from Nueces County as she waits more than two months later to receive a death certificate for her husband. 

Adelida Sanchez told 3News that her husband became sick and had his kidney removed in Victoria. after which he returned to their home. Some time after, his condition worsened and he died on March 30. 

"I had to call the fire department because he fell off the bed and they had to come help me put him back in bed. Later on that night, he passed," Sanchez said. 

Weeks after her husband was laid to rest, Sanchez said she realized she had not yet received a death certificate.

"I called the funeral home and they told me that no, they didn't have it, because it was under investigation," Sanchez said. 

Sanchez said she then reached out to the Nueces County Medical Examiner's Office directly to find an answer. She said she called and was told they would call her once they had information to share. After weeks of no returned call, she called again.

"There was a medical examiner there that morning. She told me that she would see if he would sign off on the death certificate. And she put me on hold," Sanchez said. "Then she comes back on the phone and she said the medical examiner said no, that no one wants to touch Doctor shakers cases."

Doctor Adel Shaker was the former chief medical examiner, and was arrested earlier this year on a number of charges.

Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said because of these circumstances, her office has received several calls from families in the same boat - waiting for final reports to be completed.

However, she said she has a plan in the works to address this issue that she is presenting to the Nueces County Attorney.

"Perhaps use the code, the health and safety code that has a provision for delayed registration of death and after 10 days, but no more than a year after death, you can go seek approval from the probate court to have these death certificates issued," said Canales.

She said she is working with the county attorney to move this forward. It would allow for families waiting on a death certificate, to receive a 'limited certificate,' confirming a death.

"My intention is not to have these families suffer but rather to help them in a way that gets them the closure that they need," said Canales.

In the meantime, Canales said county commissioners did hire and approve a company to come in and finalize these lingering death reports. However, the issue is that will take some time and she doesn't want these families to have to wait any longer.

She told us there are about 90 unfinished death reports.

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