LUBBOCK, Texas – Dr. John Lang, the newest Lubbock County Medical Examiner, has provided updates about his office since taking over two months ago.
Lang became the newest LCME on October 1 after Lubbock County and NAAG Pathology, the county’s most recent contracted medical examiner, ended their partnership after a raid conducted by Texas Rangers and federal officials at the medical examiner’s office, along with NAAG being accused of removing body parts of the deceased without the permission of the families.
First, Lang said his office has cleared a pre-NAAG backlog from 2013-2017.
“There is no current backlog, nor will there ever be a backlog” said Lang.
Secondly, because remains are now being sent to Tarrant County for autopsies due to the investigation, Lang said his office has cut the turnaround to-and-from Fort Worth to less than 24 hours, causing little to no delay for funeral homes and families.
“They are the experts and they do an outstanding job,” said Lang in reference to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office. “They have 8 pathologists working 24/7.”
Lastly, Lang said the county and NAAG Pathology have a verbal agreement for the company to return the biological material and the 192 autopsy reports back to Lubbock, but there is no timeline on how long that process will take. Once the autopsy reports are returned, families can then receive their loved one’s death certificates.
“As soon as they come in, I’ve told the families that I’m gonna put on the coffee and pull an all-nighter to get them done,” said Lang.
Lang also added that he’s met with funeral homes, the Lubbock Police Department, and the Lubbock County Sherriff’s Office to optimize efficiency.