ALAMEDA CO., Calif. (KRON) — It has been nearly three weeks since two Berkeley brothers were gunned down at a house party in Oakland and the Sotelo Garcia family said they have not been able to properly mourn their loss.
An autopsy backlog in Alameda County is the reason for the delay and Oakland’s rising homicide rate is making things worse. The community has helped raise more than $120K to cover the funeral services for 17-year-old Jazy and his 15-year-old brother Angel Sotelo Garcia.
Services were planned for this past Monday but were postponed because their autopsies have not yet been performed by the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau.
“My family and I, we were really looking forward to being able to honor our boys and give them their proper ceremony and burials they deserve, and to put a lot of time, energy and capacity into planning this just to have it last minute canceled due to something outside of our control with lack of communication, extremely, extremely frustrating,” said cousin Melani Garcia Macias.
Police said the Berkeley High School students were targeted. “To have it last minute thrown at us felt disrespectful,” added Garcia Macias.
Sergeant Erik Bordi at the coroner’s bureau confirms there are 44 pending autopsies and 13 of them are homicide victims including the Sotelo Garcia’s. To date, Bordi said the county has recorded 147 homicides and more than 100 of them happened in Oakland.
KRON On is streaming news live now
Bordi said they just do not have enough doctors to keep up. “Have a service, properly give them the respect they need and deserve is a crucial turning point in our healing,” said Garcia Macias.
Bordi said the brothers’ autopsies are now scheduled for Thursday and if everything goes as planned, Garcia Macias said their funeral will be held next week.