Autopsy on man who died in ECSO custody could take 90 days to complete, official says

The autopsy on a 47-year-old man who died while sitting alone in the back seat of an Ector County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle with a seat belt wrapped around his neck won’t get done for up to 90 days, a medical examiner said Thursday.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office is tasked with performing the autopsy on David Maestas, but the final report could take anywhere from 60 days to 90 days to complete before it is submitted to local law enforcement for its review, said Chuck Moad, chief investigator for the Ector County Medical Examiner’s Office.
But given the nature of the investigation into Maestas’ death, a final autopsy report could take up to 90 days, or three months, to be complete. Maestas died while in the custody of the Ector County Sheriff’s Office.
Any disclosure from the autopsy report about how Maestas died while he was detained last month by local sheriff’s authorities would come from the Ector County Sheriff’s Office and the Ector County District Attorney’s Office, Moad said.
Maestas was identified by authorities as being in possession of some stolen property along with some red diesel motor fuel Feb. 7 when Ector County Sheriff’s deputies were called that day to help Ector County’s environmental police officers and the Texas Comptroller’s Office in investigating some recovered stolen property at a location in Gardendale.
Ector County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to 17103 Gonzales Ave, space No. 6, in Gardendale, to help county and state authorities.
Maestas was not handcuffed, but detained in the back of an ECSO marked patrol vehicle and “was left unattended in the rear seat of the patrol unit while (deputies) conducted the investigation,” a press statement read.
When sheriff’s deputies were done with their investigation, they returned to the patrol vehicle and found Maestas unresponsive with a rear passenger side seat belt “wrapped around his neck,” the statement reported.
Deputies on the scene performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and even used a defibrillator to bring back Maestas but he was later pronounced dead at Medical Center Hospital.
The Texas Rangers, a unit of the Texas Department of Public Safety, stepped in and Maestas’ body was sent to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.