A Bakersfield family, who waited months for their father's autopsy results, is feeling relieved because they finally know how their loved one died.
The Kern County Coroner issued Luther Thompson's death certificate Friday. The family said with that certificate they can finally start to move on.
The Thompsons contacted 17 News earlier this month, upset that after three months, they still hadn't received a death certificate from the Coroner's office.
17 News contacted Coroner's administrators who said they try to get results within 90 days, but lately are falling behind. They said that's because they have only two pathologists investigating cases, and they need three.
The Coroner expedited Luther Thompson's case, letting the family know he died of a heart attack brought on by terminal cancer. It's a relief to the family who had thought his death could be a suicide.
"We could actually move forward with our lives cause we were like holding onto that because he was like the family man of all of us," said Brittiany Thompson, Luther Thompson's daughter. "So, knowing what really happened to him, it really gives us all closure, you know."
Not only does the death certificate provide closure, but now his family can file an insurance claim to help cover funeral costs. Brittiany Thompson found her father lying on the floor of their house July 18th.
The full report on Thompson's death won't be available for several months which is normal for investigations like this.