Waiting for Autopsy Results

It's been more than two months since the death of State Controller Kathy Augustine. The cause of her death remains unexplained, and so is an apparent delay in completing her autopsy.

No one is sure why it has taken so long...a spokesman for the Reno Police Department says he expected those results long ago. Lieutenant Jon Catalono says he was initially told an FBI toxicology report might take two weeks...nine have now passed.

Augustine was found unconscious in her Reno home by her husband July 8th and she died three days later in a local hospital without regaining consciousness. She had been running for State Treasurer and her husband Chaz Higgs told the media he believed she had died of a massive heart attack brought on by the stress of campaigning.

But Augustine had no history of heart problems and the autopsy showed no evidence of heart disease. Questions arose when Higgs attempted suicide three days after her death and did not attend her funeral the following day. He has vehemently denied having anything to do with her death.

Higgs, a critical care nurse, had cared for Augustine's previous husband, who died three years ago. Higgs and Augustine married three weeks after her first husband's death.

Augustine's stepson has said if it is determined her death was not due to natural causes, he wants his father's body exhumed and an autopsy performed.

Lieutenant Catalano says investigators hoped for a quick turnaround on the tests. That's why it was sent to the FBI instead of Washoe County's Crime Lab, but reports to the contrary he says he's not concerned with the delay, noting it can take as long as 3 months. A spokeswoman for the FBI had no comment.


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