I called 1 Dr. Allen Cusack of Cusack Mortuary because I hadn’t heard from him yet 2 and it was nearing five o’clock.

Dr. Cusack answered the phone and said, “Man, you called at just the right time!” He told me that he had just finished talking to MediLegal Autopsy Service, a nationwide chain of independent pathologists who performed autopsies. He told me their phone number is (800) 343-2135 and seemed to be stressing the fact that they are a nationwide chain. It took me a minute but I realize that was because he thought I was calling from Los Angeles 3

Dr. Cusack said that he had called the Volusia County Medical Examiner office and a woman named Tara Clark had told him that Dr. Peele should be the one to sign the death certificate. I reiterated to Dr. Cusack that Dr. Peele refuses to sign the death certificate. Dr. Cusack told me that Dr. Peele could be fined for not signing it.

I told Dr. Cusack that it seemed like a conflict of interest to me that the medical examiner was requiring a signature from the physician to determine whether they were going to perform an autopsy, and he said, “That I do not understand.”

Dr. Cusack said, “She is here. We have her in our refrigeration facility.”

I wrote in my notes, “super nice guy; said he’d call me tomorrow between 10/11 AM”

1 Note that this website lists times as Pacific; this call began at 4:55 PM EDT
2 During our previous conversation he had told me he would be calling me back today.
3 I explained to him that I was in Sanford, Florida and had been since five o’clock this morning.