News10NBC follow up: Mother whose son disappeared in the Genesee River receives his death certificate

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A local mother who has been trying to get her son’s death certificate finally got it.

Michele Dejonge first shared her story with chief investigative reporter Berkeley Brean in September. In 2019 her son, Paul Matison, had too much to drink, crashed into a car and got into a dispute.

Dejonge believes her son jumped off the bridge and into the river to avoid police who responded to the dispute. His body was never found.

State law says a missing person isn’t considered dead until at least three years and that’s why Dejonge couldn’t get his death certificate to close his accounts.

But this week, Dejonge got the certificate before having to wait the state-mandated three years after our story found an exception to the rule.

"It has given me peace," she said. "It has really given me a great nights sleep and I want to thank you personally because once you got involved things started moving along and what you did in two months, I couldn’t get done in two and a half years."

The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s office told Dejonge she is only the third person in the last 100 years in Monroe County to access a death certificate like this.