WESTLAKE VILLAGE (CBSLA.com) — Hundreds filed into a Westlake Village church for a memorial service Wednesday night to honor a little boy who left a huge mark.
“I believe we will be able to get him tomorrow,” said Jamie Matthews, the mother of 18-month-old George, who died earlier this month after being found face-down in the pool of his grandparents’ home.
Matthews told CBS2 she had gone upstairs to get George’s St. Patrick’s Day clothes and within minutes he ended up in the pool.
Tuesday night, she recounted what they think happened since all the doors were locked.
“He loved feeding our dog and there was some dog food in the water so we assume that he was feeding the dog when the dog went to take care of business and he decided to follow the dog out,” she said.
George didn’t make it.
On Wednesday, his body was not at the memorial service as the family was originally told it would take at least a month to get his body.
The Matthews live out-of-state and just wanted to bury their only child.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office is facing a 180-body backlog; toxicology reports are piling up; and the chief just resigned.
Although they say the coroner’s office was caring, the office’s hands were tied so the family contacted everyone they knew, including the Los Angeles County supervisors.
Then, late Wednesday, CBS2 got word from the coroner’s office that the autopsy will be done Thursday and the body will be released by the end of the week.
“Everyone we talked to seems to be touched by the story. Hopefully something helped or hopefully the news story helped but I really don’t know. I’m grateful for it though,” she said.
The assistant chief for the coroner would only say there was a miscommunication. Whatever the reason, the family calls it an Easter miracle.
“And honestly we’re just incredibly touched that it went through this fast,” said Jon Matthews, the child’s father. “We just hope and pray that things can get in better shape there so that people can get their families and loved ones back as soon as possible.”
The family hopes to bury George Friday. They also plan to hold another service in Utah on Easter Sunday.