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Deer Park family waiting 6 weeks to bury loved one

Paperwork glitch means family can't hold funeral
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Posted at 1:07 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 19:51:00-04

DEER PARK, Ohio — An unsigned death certificate has left the family of Bobby Alan Fields, who died six weeks ago in Deer Park, unable to hold a funeral.

"I just don't understand it," his brother, Kenneth Fields, said.

The family said Bobby Fields suffered congenital heart failure for years and passed away quietly in bed, but his physician has not yet signed the death certificate.

"It's horrible," his sister-in-law, Leslie Fields, said. "I work at a hospital, and have spoken to other people, and they say they have never heard of this before."

His body remains stored in a refrigerated basement room at Trinity Cremation Service in Carlisle, Ohio.

"I don't understand," his sister-in-law told us. "Why can't we get a why? At least tell us why."

Where is the death certificate?

A crematorium spokesman told us they can't cremate his body without a signed death certificate.

So we contacted the Hamilton County Coroner's office, where the coroner's chief investigator, Justin Weber, told us they cannot sign a death certificate if the death was due to natural causes, as it appears to be in this case.

Weber said the attending physician typically signs the death certificate in this case.

But there are some questions about who was the last doctor to see Fields. We contacted his cardiologist, who is out of town and unavailable, according to a receptionist in the office.

All the family wants right now is some closure so they can bury Bobby with the rest of his family.

Right now, though, they can't even say a proper goodbye.

"We just want the death certificate signed so we can put the man to rest," his sister-in-law said.

Meanwhile, the coroner said the Ohio Medical Board is now looking into the situation, although it doesn't comment on specific cases.

Some doctors are reluctant to sign death certificates these days out of fear of malpractice lawsuits, according to reports.

We don't know if that played a role here.

The family just wants Bobby Fields — beloved son, brother, dad — finally laid to rest.

"For him to be treated like this is wrong," his brother said.

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8:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018

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