Chris Boshears (right) with her
daughter, Jordan, in June.
marked 80 days since
Christina Boshears died, and although family, friends and
investigators have already been waiting nearly three months for a
determination of what killed her, they may have to wait
15 Boshears was taken from the Kitsap County Jail to Harrison
Medical Center after she was observed having trouble breathing.
Friends and family say she was fragile from years of drug addition,
a recent overdose and then relapse, and had been withdrawing from
heroin in the jail while being held for what amounts to a parole
those who loved her, the thought of a woman whose worst crimes were
always directed at herself dying in this way heaped heartbreak upon
in Sheriff’s Office custody, and the Port Orchard Police are
investigating Christina’s death, but are waiting on the Coroner
Greg Sandstrom to rule on her cause of death. To do that, he needs
to be certain his ruling is correct.
trying to cover every base here,” he said Wednesday.
had been sent via the U.S. Mail to the Washington State
Patrol’s Toxicology Lab in Seattle. Most people might be
unnerved if blood came in the mail. That’s not the case for the
typical sample is blood, and also urine,” said Brianna Peterson,
lab manager for the toxicology lab.
on Boshears blood came back. Sandstrom had it sent back for
retesting, which means it goes to the back of the line. The first
test found no significant trace of drugs in her system.
is fairly important in his line of work. And accuracy takes
got to wait in line like everybody else,” he said.
days seems like a lot, especially considering when the public is
exposed to crime science, it’s usually on TV.
it takes may take some by surprise, Peterson said.
only know about it from watching TV, yes, it is probably surprising
to them,” she said.
all, those models-turned-detectives need only an hour, including
might be a little while yet, I hate to say it,” Sandstrom
the hold up is the volume of work the lab does. Peterson said the
department handled 11,000 cases last year. An average wait time for
results is about 30 days. Thirteen scientists work in the
cases can be much less, if it’s just alcohol present or no drugs,”
she said. “You can have cases that have eight drugs in them, and we
have to do lots of different tests to confirm.”
although they don’t visit crime scenes, often enough they are
called to courtrooms across the state to testify.
isn’t helping the lab lighten its load. The Coroner’s Office is
also waiting for toxicology results from the autopsy of
Pamela L. McNeil, who body was found in a ditch on Clear Creek
Road Feb. 27. Investigators said they do not suspect foul
of the state isn’t helping either. Whenever there is a death that
requires a closer look to determine cause, and most of the time
when an autopsy is performed, and often enough in an impaired
driving case, the lab will receive a package in the mail. The
package will contain blood, and sometimes urine.
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