Legal issue delays autopsy of doctor and his two children
Yesterday, Dr. James Gakara’s family spent hours at the Nakuru courthouse asking for an affidavit to have an autopsy done on him.
At the same time, his wife Winnie Odhiambo, who collapsed following the death of the doctor, was discharged from level 5 hospital in Nakuru where she was being treated in the High Dependency Unit (HDU).
The autopsy could not take place due to legal details that required the family to file a next-of-kin affidavit.
Yesterday, it emerged that the doctor, who died in hospital on Wednesday morning, had been registered at the facility by police as an unknown adult upon admission.
The family was scheduled to accompany government pathologist Titus Ngulungu yesterday morning to conduct an autopsy at the hospital morgue.
“We came here in the morning hoping that the autopsy will be performed but we were sent back to bring the documents,” said family spokesman Burton Njoroge.
Gakara was the prime suspect in the murder of his two children who were found dead in their bedroom last Saturday. The doctor was in his room unconscious.
Used syringes and medicine vials were found in the house.
He was taken to level five hospital in Nakuru where he died while undergoing treatment.
“The family had organized Wednesday afternoon to transfer the body to the PNN morgue but the autopsy had to be done first in the hospital,” Njoroge said.
It was then that it became apparent to them that there were discrepancies in the details recorded in the hospital file which implied a legal procedure for change.
Nakuru West DCIO Stephen Ambani said the officers who transported Gakara to hospital were more concerned that the doctor would start treatment immediately to save his life.
“By the time we got his contact details from relatives and documents, he had already been registered as an unknown person to allow doctors to take care of him. Details will be changed by the correct procedure,” Ambani said. .
Njoroge said it was the hospital that asked them to produce documents proving they were related to the doctor.
“We have obtained the affidavit and now hope that the hospital will change its name to keep the rest of the process running smoothly,” Njoroge said.
By the time they submitted the affidavit, the pathologist was already gone.