By Brian Maass
LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– Ten months after her husband died suddenly in their Littleton home, Patty Evans is still struggling to understand what took David Evans’ life. The company she hired to conduct an autopsy still has not produced a report it has repeatedly promised.
“I’m very frustrated and angry. I just want it to be over with,” said Evans during an interview at her home. “I’d just like to know what caused his death.”
Her husband of 37 years was an avid cyclist and outwardly appeared to be in good health. But in December 2017, he suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. Patty Evans said testing showed his arteries were clogged. She said a stent was put in his heart and he was sent home.
Within days, her husband died.
“So I was sitting on the bed and he went into the bathroom and I heard this big thump and that was it.”
She wanted to know precisely what caused her husband’s death. She found National Autopsy Services on the web and paid them $3,550 to conduct an autopsy on her husband and determine what killed him. The company website states they are “efficient and effective” and says they can help people learn what happened to their loved one.
The contract was signed and paid for December 26, 2017.
Douglas County coroner Jill Romann said most professional autopsies take about a month to complete.
“Here, the average is about three-and-a-half weeks,” said Romann.
In early January, Evans said a representative of the company told her the case was nearly completed.
But when it never came, she said she called again in February and three times in March, leaving messages each time. Evans said none of those messages were ever returned.
“Outrageous, absolutely outrageous these families are being held hostage,” said Romann.
On Sept. 6, nine months after Dave Evans’ death, CBS4 emailed the owner of National Autopsy Services, Shawn Parcells asking about her husband’s autopsy report.
“The report is actually done,” responded Parcells, ”…and the number we have isn’t the correct number. So, can you help us by getting us the correct number or email so we can send this report out? It has been done for several months.”
The contract signed by Evans contains both her correct phone number and her correct mailing address.
Parcells quickly called Evans and said he would send the report out and she would have it within days. Another month later and Evans still does not have the report.
“I mean, I don’t know if an autopsy was done at this point,” said the frustrated widow.
In emails to CBS4, Parcells explained the delays saying, ”It was because we had to run genetic tests that are run by a third party lab. Those labs, which we have no control over, takes time to get results back. We found that her husband did have a genetic condition and it was worth the wait so she could find out the exact cause of death that occurred. So there was a reason for the delay.”
As of Oct. 9, Patty Evans said she still has not received a report and Parcells did not respond to emails from CBS4 this week.