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Family Fights To Have Mayes Co. Man’s Death Certificate Changed

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Curtis Prescott was found dead near the driveway of his Mayes County home from a shotgun blast to the head. Curtis Prescott was found dead near the driveway of his Mayes County home from a shotgun blast to the head.
The Medical Examiner's office ruled it a suicide. The Medical Examiner's office ruled it a suicide.
The family is so sure their loved one did not take his own life, Curtis Prescott's mother hired a private investigator. The family is so sure their loved one did not take his own life, Curtis Prescott's mother hired a private investigator.
"I have more proof it was at least unknown or an accident than they, the Medical Examiner's office, that it was suicide," said Eric Cullen. "I have more proof it was at least unknown or an accident than they, the Medical Examiner's office, that it was suicide," said Eric Cullen.
The information provided by the private eye was reviewed by the Attorney General and Medical Examiner's office last month. It was decided there was insufficient evidence to change the manner of death. The information provided by the private eye was reviewed by the Attorney General and Medical Examiner's office last month. It was decided there was insufficient evidence to change the manner of death.

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

MAYES COUNTY -- A family has only one wish for the holidays and it's not a typical one. They want a death certificate changed so that it no longer reads "suicide."

They're so sure their loved one did not take his own life, they've hired a private investigator.

Many parents refuse to accept a child's suicide and when the private eye started his investigation, he figured this was one of those situations. But, he says he uncovered a sloppy investigation by the Medical Examiner's office and evidence that this was not a suicide.

Curtis Prescott raised his daughter Courtney alone from the time she was five months old, when her mother left them. Courtney was nine last year when Prescott was found dead near the driveway of their Mayes County home from a shotgun blast to the head. 

The Medical Examiner's office ruled it a suicide, but the family didn't believe Prescott would do that to his little girl.

"I don't believe my son would've done such a thing within a couple of hours of the time for her to get on the bus and go to school and traumatize her like that, it's not his nature," said Kathy Page, Curtis Prescott's mother.

Curtis Prescott's mother hired a private investigator, Eric Cullen.

Cullen says the Medical Examiner's office didn't do an autopsy, didn't interview family members, didn't examine the shotgun, relied heavily on comments made by a deputy that Prescott had a history of being suicidal and didn't measure Prescott's arms.

"The theory would've been the only way he could've done this with the physical evidence from the photos, the entry wound was above and behind the eye. I'm 6'1" and can do it, barely pull it. Curtis is 5'8" and known to have short arms," said Eric Cullen, private investigator.

Cullen had a gunsmith test the gun and it fired when dropped. Cullen says Prescott had been patrolling near his home, because of recent break-ins, and believes Prescott could've tripped and the gun went off and killed him.

"I have more proof it was at least unknown or an accident than they, the Medical Examiner's office, that it was suicide," said Eric Cullen.

The family admits Prescott used to be an alcoholic and had gone through depression and sought treatment, but says no records indicate he was ever suicidal and he had stopped drinking and there was no alcohol in his system that night. His mother wants the certificate changed, for her granddaughter's sake.

"I don't think she should have to grow up thinking she was not loved or wanted by either parent," said Kathy Page.

The Medical Examiner's office tells The News On 6 they're very sorry for the family's loss. The information provided by the private eye was reviewed by the Attorney General and Medical Examiner's office last month. It was decided there was insufficient evidence to change the manner of death.

A statement from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner:

We are very sorry for this family and the loss of Curtis Prescott. Rarely is death is easy to cope with or understand. The case and information provided by Mr. Cullen were reviewed by the Attorney General's and the Medical Examiner's offices last month with the decision being there was insufficient evidence to warrant changing the manner of death. No new evidence has been provided to this office since the review in October.

Cherokee Ballard
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

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