Stanley: '"Baby cases always take more than a couple months.'
It's been more than six months since six-week-old Anastasia Vang was allegedly killed by her mother, Ee Lee. But there's still no autopsy report on her death.
The report has taken so long that Lee's defense attorneys recently complained to the judge that the prosecution is deliberately withholding the document: "[F]ailure to provide the basic evidence in a homicide case -- the autopsy report -- leads the defense to suspect that more information is being covered up."
Assistant District Attorney Mary Ellen Karst responded that the prosecutor's office had already turned over more than 400 pages related to the case, but not the autopsy report, because it still wasn't done.
Dane County Coroner John Stanley confirms the report is not finished, and says two to six months is "the normal turnaround time on an autopsy report. We've had them take up to a year."
Stanley says the delay in this case may be partly due to the fact that Vang was an infant.
"Baby cases always take more than a couple months," he says, noting children's bodies require more testing, because they don't have the lengthy health records of a full-grown adult. "Babies have less history for us to look at."
Another reason for the wait is that Lee's murder trial was put on hold for a year, after she was found incompetent to stand trial. Lee, who is said to be suffering from postpartum depression, is currently in a mental health institute near Oshkosh.
Stanley says his department won't rush the case if there's not a trial looming: "The cases that go to the top of the pile are the ones with people in custody and other things going on."