Across North Carolina, medical examiners fail to follow crucial investigative steps, raising questions about the accuracy of thousands of death rulings.
The living face the consequences.
Widows can be cheated out of insurance money. Families may never learn why their loved ones died. Killers can go free.
Because of a medical examiner’s mistake, Cathy Wilson had her husband’s body dug up to show what killed him. Shannon Santimore had to fight for three days in court to prove that her husband did not commit suicide.
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After a medical examiner concluded David Worley died in a car wreck, a funeral home discovered what the examiner missed: four stab wounds in his back. His widow is now charged with killing him.
“People can get away with murder if the medical examiners don’t do the job,” said Worley’s mother, Ella Grant. “Their job is to check bodies from top to bottom. That did not happen.”