• Memphis mother wondering why murdered son's death certificate was given to someone else

    By: Tony Atkins

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - After FOX13 aired this story, Ja'Rico's mother was able to pick up her son's death certficate after it was given out to someone else who was listed as his mother.

    The Shelby County Health Department has not reported if anyone was internally disciplined behind this.


    The Shelby County Health Department is investigating why the mother of a man who was murdered cannot get his death certificate.

    Ja’Rico Cooper, along with his uncle, was shot and killed in a Raleigh home in May. His mother needs that death certificate to get Cooper a headstone for his grave.

    RELATED: Family mourning after uncle, nephew shot and killed inside Memphis home

    Now, she is wondering why it was given to someone else.

    “That’s not right. Bad enough I lost my child,” said Tontolane Charles, Cooper’s mother.

    Both Charles and Cooper’s grandmother told FOX13 they haven’t been able to pick up his death certificate. They said it is just another reminder of the injustice done to Ja’Rico.


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    Both women showed FOX13 Cooper’s birth certificates, but they said when they went to the Shelby County Health Department, they could not obtain his death certificate.

    “We were told by the employees we weren’t on the death certificate, so we couldn’t get one – even though we had a birth certificate,” said Christine Taylor, Cooper’s grandmother.

    Cooper and his uncle – Demarco Foote – were shot and killed inside a home on Egypt Central Road on May 28. No arrests have been made yet in connection with the deadly shooting.

    Taylor told FOX13 that they were told another relative was listed as Cooper’s mother on his death certificate, which is much different from his birth certificate.

    The Shelby County Health Department is investigating now how that could have happened.

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