Bulgaria: For 3,5 Years a Family cannot Bury their Daughter as it owes 27,000 leva to the Hospital
For three and a half years, a family cannot bury their daughter because of a protracted investigation. After receiving a message that they can get her body, it turns out that in order to get it they have to pay 27,000 leva to "Aleksandrovska" Hospital.
The father of the young woman - Violetta - from Ruse told about this incident on Nova TV.
In 2020, Petar Chernaev's daughter died under unclear circumstances in Sofia. While the investigation is ongoing, during the past years the body has been residing in "Aleksandrovska Hospital".
"The forensic medical examination was not prepared, and we had reasonable suspicions, as it turned out later, that this examination was made incompetently. Neither the manner in which our daughter died nor the time of death were given to us. Our suspicions are that it is a case of murder", the father said, explaining why they insisted on a new examination.
A few days ago, Violetta's parents received a notification that they could pay their respects to their daughter. However, they say that the hospital refused to hand over the body until they paid nearly 27,000 leva.
"My wife went to the 'Aleksandrovskа' hospital and it turned out that the period in which the documents should be issued is very short. They issued the death certificate with the date on Friday. But the clerk gave her a cremation slip with a blank date. My wife asked why. She was told that the reason was due to our obligations to the hospital. And until we pay about 27,000 leva, they will not hand over the body", says the grieving father.
According to him, from that day on, the family will also owe the hospital 15 leva per day for storing the body in the chamber.
"Aleksandrovska" Hospital confirms that on September 29, the parents were informed that they could receive their daughter's body, but only after paying the due amount for safekeeping. However, the remains were not released immediately, the hospital says, because the employee at the Forensic Medicine Clinic did not have all the necessary documents.
The hospital also states that the body of the deceased can be handed over to her relatives or a representative authorized by them on any working day, and the amount due for the storage of the body for three years will be claimed by the medical institution in accordance with the law. Nowhere does it say against whom the claim will be made.
In the same case, the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office explained to the National Radio that the death of 29-year-old Violetta Chernaeva is being investigated by the Sofia District Prosecutor's Office under a text from the Criminal Code for inducing suicide.
According to the prosecution's claims, during an interrogation as a witness on February 4, 2020, the mother of the young woman - Penka Chernaeva, made a verbal request that her body be released by "Forensic Medicine" in order to organize her daughter's funeral. On February 25, the investigating police officer reported the case to the supervising prosecutor with a request for an assessment - whether the body can be returned to the relatives.
The supervising prosecutor responded positively to Penka Chernaeva's verbal request and ordered that the body be released for burial or cremation. The prosecutor complied the decision with a report on a forensic autopsy of a corpse, during which all necessary materials for additional research were seized.
The prosecutor's decree, which explicitly states that the body of Violetta Chernaeva is no longer needed for the purposes of the investigation and therefore can be returned to the parents, as was the verbal request of the mother, was delivered on February 27, 2020 to the father Petar Chernaev. Upon receipt, he wrote a note that he had not requested the release of his daughter's body before a medical examination was completed.
The decree of February 27, that the body of Violetta Chernaeva is no longer needed for the needs of the investigation, was also sent to "Aleksandrovska" Hospital, as is the practice in such cases.
The prosecutor's office adds that the investigation has not ended, as the results of more examinations are awaited, and some of the procedural and investigative actions were at the request of the young woman's relatives.
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