DOVER, Del. (AP)- More than a month after a Texas man killed his former daughter-in-law and another woman at a Delaware courthouse before taking his own life, state officials have agreed to release his autopsy report to his family. Thomas Matusiewicz, 68, shot and killed Christine Belford, 39, and a friend, Laura Mulford, 47, on Feb. 11 before exchanging gunfire with police and putting a gun to his own head.
Attorney General Beau Biden's office had refused to allow the state medical examiner to release the results of Matusiewicz's autopsy to his family, citing an ongoing investigation into the use of force by police.
Biden told The Associated Press on Thursday that his office had authorized the release of the autopsy report to Matusiewicz's family on Wednesday.
"It's about time," Lenore Matusiewicz, the gunman's widow, said when informed of the attorney general's decision. "I want to know what they were investigating. Tom shot two people, he shot two officers besides, and he killed himself. What is there to investigate?"
Even though the attorney general's office has authorized release of the autopsy report, Lenore Matusiewicz said she was told by the medical examiner's office on Thursday that she may have to wait another month or more to get it.
Belford was shot after arriving at the New Castle County Courthouse for a child support hearing in a bitter, yearslong custody battle between her and Matusiewicz's son, David Matusiewicz.
Thomas Matusiewicz's family has said they believe his violent actions may have been affected by a brain tumor, called a meningioma, that was diagnosed in 1990 but went untreated for years.
With state officials refusing to release the autopsy report on her husband, Lenore Matusiewicz declined to accept the body until she could make arrangements for an independent autopsy to confirm the brain tumor.
"If Tom had a meningioma, he was not himself," she said last month, adding that her husband had become very secretive, was constantly losing things and had changed his behavior in the months before the shootings.
While still holding onto the autopsy report, the medical examiner's office told Lenore Matusiewicz last week that it had reached the "time threshold" for holding her husband's remains, and that if she didn't pick up the body soon, officials would begin the process for a state burial.
"This office has overseen the care of your husband's remains as promised over the last four weeks; it is now however time to lay Thomas to rest," chief forensic investigator Michael Price wrote in a March 7 letter.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:37:33 GMT
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