Christina Baro's heart was broken. Even though the San Joaquin County mother was grieving for her 17-year-old son Felix Cummings, she spoke bravely about how she felt the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office has treated her son's murder case.
Investigators say Cummings was shot dead near a marijuana grow back in early October. Baro and her uncle Pete Johnson told FOX40 that, at the time, they were desperately seeking answers from detectives on scene.
"And the second they found out it was her son out there, she should have been the first one talked to, and we were right there on the scene," Johnson said.
Because they felt that the victim in the case was their beloved Felix.
"Our problem with the sheriff’s office was just the lack of information as it was going on," Johnson said.
Their concerns with the sheriff's office mirror that of forsensic pathologist Dr. Susan Parson, who is handling Cummings' autopsy.
In a memo released to FOX40, the doctor wrote she had demanded a physical report and basic information relating to Cummings' death.
"This goes against every standard procedure and practice in forensic pathology, and the fact that it is perpetrated by the sheriff’s office is particularly astonishing and unacceptable," the memo read.
As of Sunday, two months after Cummings was killed, Parson claims she still had not received the report.
"It all made sense," Johnson said. "I mean everything that they were, all the accusations that they made was what we lived."
The sheriff has continually denied the claims against himself and his office. On Friday, the California Medical Association issued a statement, saying Parson and Dr. Bennet Omalu would be willing to withdraw their resignations. A union representative reports the forensic pathologists would only reconsider if the board of supervisors separated the sheriff's office from the coroner's office.
As Christmas approaches, the reality that Cummings is no longer here will be hard for his family. His mother fights on for the truth of what happened to her lively, outgoing, sweet son.
"It’s hard, but I just try to smile and make it work for my other kids," Baro said.