Former MS medical examiner responds to backlogged autopsy reports

Former MS medical examiner responds to backlogged autopsy reports

PORTLAND, ME (WMC) - The former Mississippi medical examiner responsible for an autopsy report that's been delayed for months is speaking out.

Murray Wells, attorney for the family of Ismael Lopez, has tried to get some answers about when the autopsy will be completed.

"This is a highly unusual situation and it's from the start of this, it's been difficult to get any information," Wells said.

Wells and prosecutors have been trying for almost a year to get answers because the autopsy report still has not been written.

Dr. Lisa Funte completed the examination of the body in August, but she has not written the report.

She is now the Deputy Chief Medical examiner in Maine.

WMC5 reached out to her office in Maine to find out when Funte plans to write the report and also contacted the NBC affiliate in Portland, Maine to see if they could get some answers.

The administrator of the office, Mark Belserene, emailed the following:

"I don't appreciate you trying to put pressure on our office with a local news station. We have no further comment on anything you request."

The NBC affiliate did get a statement from Funte. It says in part,

"Maine's Deputy Chief Funte has continued to work with the Mississippi Medical Examiner's Office to complete her outstanding cases and will fulfill all required obligations."

Funte reiterated that the Mississippi Office of Chief Medical examiner has a critical shortage of forensic pathologists.

Three forensic pathologists perform more than 1,600 autopsies a year. Funte has more than 100 outstanding cases she has to complete.

The Maine Medical Examiner's office suggested we contact the Mississippi Medical Examiner's Office, which WMC5 investigators did last week.

It seems the only person who really knows when the Ismael Lopez autopsy report will be completed is Funte herself.

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