Son after mom’s body exhumed: ‘I didn’t kill her’

Joseph Weeks. (Jan. 25, 2016)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office has reopened the investigation into the death of a 73-year-old woman.

Evelyn Weeks died unexpectedly on Sept. 9, 2012, her obituary says. At the time, investigators ruled her death natural.

Last year, sheriff’s investigators came across new information that led them to reopen their case. It included statements from one of Weeks’ sons, Gary Weeks, and her ex-daughter-in-law Chelsea Weeks, sheriff’s department investigative records show.

Chelsea Weeks gave detectives information that led them to question whether her mother-in-law was poisoned by Chelsea’s ex-husband and Evelyn’s son, Joseph Weeks, a former paramedic who purportedly had access to a deadly cocktail of drugs.

“According to Chelsea Weeks, Joseph Weeks had told her in December of 2012 that he had killed in the past and gotten away with it,” sheriff’s detectives said in a court petition. “During the course of their marriage, Joseph Weeks had told his wife Chelsea Weeks, on more than one occasion that he knew how to cook up his EMT meds and give them to someone by putting them in a person’s tea, coffee, or food and that the medication would put the person to sleep permanently.”

Sheriff’s investigators reported that Weeks admitted stealing drugs from his former employer where he worked as an EMT, but, they say, he denied giving them to his mother.

Monday, Weeks told 24 Hour News 8 that he never confessed to the theft and has never stolen drugs from his employer.

“I hope they do have it recorded,” Weeks said. “I don’t remember saying that.”

He vehemently denied killing his mother in an emotional, sometimes tearful interview.

“No I did not,” Weeks said when pressed. “We carry drugs that save people’s lives.”

An undated courtesy photo of Evelyn Weeks.
An undated courtesy photo of Evelyn Weeks.

Evelyn Weeks was living at her son’s Kalamazoo County home when he says he returned home from a motorcycle ride and found her unresponsive.

He says he tried to save her.

“I went to work as I do as a paramedic,” Weeks said. “I started trying to revive Mom.”

Other emergency responders arrived, but were unsuccessful in reviving her. Evelyn Weeks died and was buried at a cemetery in North Carolina.

In December, Kalamazoo County authorities successfully petitioned a Rowan County judge to exhume her body. It’s now been brought back to Kalamazoo where an autopsy will be performed to look for chemicals in her body.

Weeks says he can’t wait for the results that he says will clear his name.

“I know an autopsy will show there’s no drugs in her system. I didn’t kill her,” he said.

“I can’t change what people are going to say… People will think what they want to think,” he continued. “Even when the autopsy comes back, you’re still going to have people that’ll whisper, point and say, ‘Maybe he just got away with it.'”

Weeks has been in the news before in connection with a high-profile crime. He’s accused of stealing money from a group that was raising funds in the wake of Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer Eric Zapata’s death. Weeks also denies stealing money from the organization, though he admits to poor handling of the funds and overspending to plan for a fundraising event in 2014.

Weeks said he believes that situation is part of why he’s under investigation now — in combination with a nasty divorce and being estranged from his brother.

“I made some enemies,” Weeks said.

Monday, the Kalamazoo County sheriff was emphatic that his department is not currently accusing Weeks of murder.

“No one’s being charged with anything at this time,” Sheriff Richard Fuller told 24 Hour News 8. “We have merely reopened a death investigation due to some information that’s been brought to our attention.”

Sheriff’s investigators had not yet conducted an autopsy as of Monday. They said they were in the process of making preparations to perform that part of the investigation.

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