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The case of a Concord man who died in October 2015 has highlighted the continued reliance of North Carolina medical examiners on law enforcement agencies to determine a person’s cause of death.

By law, medical examiners are supposed to conduct their own investigations into an individual’s death when the circumstances leading to the death are unclear. The investigation must be complete before a person can be cremated or embalmed.

But the family of Cecil Boykin are left with unanswered questions more than two years after his death because they say, the medical examiner who investigated Boykin’s death did not conduct an independent investigation and ignored their pleas to dig deeper.

Cecil Boykin was found dead on the floor of a bathroom at his home on the morning of October 10, 2015. In his death report, the medical examiner wrote he was found with an electrical cord around his neck. 

Police ruled Boykin’s death a suicide before his brother, Billy, and mother could arrive at his home.

“Their mind was already made up,” Billy Boykin said of the officers investigating his brother’s death.

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