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Body of Tammy Wynette Exhumed

April 15, 1999

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Questions about country music singer Tammy Wynette’s cause of death may be answered in several weeks after investigators receive the results of her autopsy.

Wynette’s body was exhumed Wednesday after her widower, George Richey, Wynette’s fifth husband and the subject of a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit brought by three of her daughters, requested the autopsy.

At a news conference, Richey criticized his stepdaughters for violating Wynette’s privacy and said he asked for the autopsy in order to ``clarify for everyone how Tammy died so we can all move on.″

Wynette, famous for ``Stand By Your Man″ and many other hits, was 55 when she died at home April 6, 1998. Her personal physician, Dr. Wallis Marsh of Pittsburgh, flew in to sign the death certificate and listed the cause of death as a blood clot to the lungs.

The daughters claim Wynette could have lived longer with better medical care. They assert narcotics prescribed by Marsh and sometimes administered by Richey could have played a part in her death.

The daughters _ Tina Jones, Georgette Smith and Jackie Daly _ also claim Richey did not seek medical care for her after being urged to do so by Marsh.

Nashville Medical Examiner Bruce Levy said he can determine what drugs were in Wynette’s system at the time of her death, but is not sure if he can determine the amounts of each drug.

Marsh, who practices at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, issued a statement last week denying any wrongdoing.

Results of the autopsy are expected in four to six weeks, Levy said.

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