The New York City Medical Examiner's office has delayed Florida minister Zachery Tims' toxicology results, which will determine the cause of his death, at the request of Tims' family, who may be considering starting a court case to keep the results secret, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Tims, the senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Church in Apopka, Fla., was found dead in his room at the W Hotel in Times Square Aug. 12.
The NYC Medical Examiner office’s spokeswoman, Ellen Borakove, told the Sentinel that the toxicology report and the results of the tests of the white powder found on Tims at the time of his death were not yet released because of the family’s "concerns." She reportedly did not specify what those concerns were, but she confirmed that the Tims' kin is looking to keep the results secret via a court order.
Meanwhile, the Orange-Osceola Chief Medical Examiner Jan Garavaglia told the publication Wednesday that it is not unusual for a medical examiner to hold the cause of a person’s death secret while the family considers taking legal action.
Borakove reportedly said the autopsy and toxicology reports are not public record in the state of New York, although she indicated that the cause of death would be released to the press, together with the information about the white powder.
The Christian Post reported on the continued delays of the toxicology results being released as previously announced by Borakove. It is now clear why the medical examiner's office has been delaying making information of the toxicology tests public.
After Tims' death, investigators were reportedly considering the possibility that Tims might have died from a drug overdose.
The minister, who was in New York for a speaking engagement, was found on the floor of his hotel room. Sources close to the investigation told the New York Daily News that a glassine envelope of white powder was found in Tims' right pants pocket.
Church administrators have not commented on the suspicious substance found on Tims, but Bishop T.D. Jakes, who delivered the minister's eulogy during his Aug. 21 funeral, insinuated that Tims struggled with personal problems and was not a perfect man.
The charismatic preacher battled drug addiction before becoming a Christian, a subject which he focuses on his memoir It's Never Too Late.