Washington Family Searching for Answers - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Washington Family Searching for Answers

March 7, 2007
Reported by Lee Peck

A little more than month after he was laid to rest, the body of Westlake Mayor Elect, Gerald Washington is being exhumed.

Geroski Washington explains, "the first autopsy here in Calcasieu parish ruled self inflicted, a reliable source told the family that only an examination was done in Baton Rouge, not a second autopsy."

After the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and State Police ruled his death a suicide, Washington's family is requesting an independent out of state autopsy.

"I refuse to die until I seek justice for his death," says Mary Washington, "and I know deep down in my heart he did not take his own life. Why would he take his own life? There's no reason. It's a conspiracy. It's a cover-up and we're seeking justice."

The woman who undoubtedly knew him best is also raising some serious questions.

"I said where is the bullet," says his mother, Lillian Washington, "now if he shot himself, why was the gun on the left? He was a right handed fella."

As family members hold on to faith and prayer, Lillian Washington hopes her son will finally be able to rest in peace.

"I just hope they find the truth."

They hope the truth will be revealed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where Washington's body will be taken for a third examination by well known forensic pathologist Cyryl Wecht.

Mary Washington says, "we really believe he will find evidence that they failed to see or saw it but are just not coming forward with it."

Gerald Washington's body is now at King's Funeral Home in Lake Charles.

No word yet on when the results of that independent autopsy will be complete. However, we do know that it will cost nearly ten thousand dollars, which we're told the family is paying for with the help of private donations from the community.

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