Fighting for You: Widower Wants Wife’s Autopsy Results Sooner

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s no secret the state of Alabama is hurting for money. Many state agencies are cutting spending significantly. The state’s Department of Forensic Sciences is among them. Grieving families have noticed. Many find themselves waiting for months to learn how a loved one died.

An Athens man asked WHNT NEWS 19’s Venton Blandin to help get his wife’s life insurance money. The man’s wife died three months ago. Kirk Bowling buried his wife and is now the only parent his two-year old son will know. He admits it is a struggle as expected, but some of his burden is a shock. Bowling can’t collect life insurance money until the state finishes its autopsy and toxicology reports on his wife. The husband and father needs and wants his money.

The date was June 26, 2012.

“She was face down on the floor. When I turned her over, her lips were already a little bit blue,” said Bowling.

Bowling found his wife near the foot of the bed they shared for nine years.

“She wasn’t breathing. I immediately called 911 and started doing CPR,” added Bowling.

Bowling spent the next 10 minutes, until medics arrived; trying to re-start the heart he loved.

“I immediately got up, went to the closet, got some clothes on because I expected to go to the hospital and things to just work out,” added Bowling.

He never went to the hospital. Bowling’s wife died at their home.

“It’s been quite a long process trying to get the death certificate since she’s passed,” added Bowling.

Bowling believes his wife died from an accidental overdose of prescription medication. The Limestone County Coroner and investigators agree, but need to make sure.

The husband and father expected autopsy results 2-3 weeks. He has learned it could now take up to nine months or a year for the results to come back.

Bowling laid his wife to rest at the Roselawn Cemetery in Athens. He says the report’s delay has caused him a lot of sleepless nights

It’s just been something that weighs on you. Number one you want to know the results just to have things finalized. You want to know what was the cause of death,” added Bowling.

The explanation could release money from Mrs. Bowling’s life insurance policy.

“I traveled the path of calling the county coroner and trying to get an answer of what’s the status, how long is it going to take and what the schedule is,” added Bowling.

Bowling spent $12,000 on his wife’s funeral. WHNT NEWS 19 took action by talking with Limestone County Coroner Mike West. We asked West if there was anything he could do to help Bowling collect insurance money.

“I’d be thrilled to have an option, because at this point, I feel like I don’t have any option other than to wait,” added Bowling.

West told WHNT NEWS 19 he can send a letter to Bowling’s life insurance company saying he does not believe Bowling’s wife died as a result of suicide or homicide. West said no insurance company is required to take the letter, but some do depending on the policy.

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