Widow Can't Move Forward While Waiting Months For Her Husband's Death Certificate


A widow is trying to move forward after her husband's death, but she says she's in limbo, waiting on his death certificate. WGNO's Vanessa Bolano investigates.

Gayle Alcorn relives the past through photographs, pausing from time to time, each time the reality of her husband's death sets in.

"He was my friend; he was everything to me. We did everything together."

57-year-old Ralph Alcorn died April 1 after an outpatient procedure. His body was taken to the Orleans Parish Coroners office to determine a cause of death, but still today Gayle says she can't move forward because she hasn't been given his death certificate.

"That makes April the 1st he died, now it's still June, almost the middle of June, and I haven't gotten any response, but it may take another 8 to 12 weeks."

Gayle can't wait another 8 to 12 weeks. It's been two-and-a-half months since Ralph Alcorn died and still no one knows where his death certificate is. The coroners office says it's been sent to the state, but the state says they haven't gotten it and Mrs. Alcorn is frustrated because without his death certificate she can't even get any benefits like widow's pension.

"All this talking on the phone to this one to that one; and this one telling me that. I don't want to hear that anymore. I want some action!"

The coroner did not return our calls today. but an office employee tells us it usually takes about 2 months to get a death certificate. They could not comment specifically on this case.

The funeral home that's been helping Mrs. Alcorn has four pending cases with the coroner's office, all waiting for certified death certificates. One of them dates back from last September.

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