updated 6/17/2005 12:59:59 PM ET 2005-06-17T16:59:59

Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that a prosecutor has agreed to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, citing an alleged gap in time from when her husband found her and called 911.

Gov. Jeb Bush asked a prosecutor Friday to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, calling into question how long it took her husband to call 911 after he found her.

In a letter faxed to Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe, Bush said Michael Schiavo testified in a 1992 medical malpractice trial that he found his wife collapsed at 5 a.m., and he said in a 2003 television interview that he found her about 4:30 a.m. He called 911 at 5:40 a.m.

“Between 40 and 70 minutes elapsed before the call was made, and I am aware of no explanation for the delay,” Bush wrote. “In light of this new information, I urge you to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome.”

McCabe was out of state Friday and couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but Bush said McCabe has agreed to his request.

Husband's lawyer: 'Preposterous'
Michael Schiavo’s attorney, George Felos, in earlier comments in The Miami Herald said Terri Schiavo would not have survived if her husband had not immediately called 911.

“It’s absolutely preposterous,” Felos said. “If he had waited 70 minutes she would have been dead.”

Bush’s request was immediately criticized by some lawmakers.

“Enough is enough,” said Democratic Sen. Ron Klein. “I don’t want to see it on TV any more, I don’t want to hear politicians talk about it. Let her be at peace.”

Governor: 'Family deserves to know'
Bush acknowledged in his letter that an investigation may be difficult.

“I understand that these events took place many years ago, and that you may not be able to collect all the relevant records and physical evidence. However, Mrs. Schiavo’s family deserves to know anything that can be done to determine the cause and circumstances of her collapse 15 years ago,” Bush wrote. “The unanswered questions may be unanswerable, but the attempt should be made.”

Terri Schiavo died March 31 from dehydration after her feeding tube was disconnected at her husband’s request, despite unsuccessful efforts by her parents, Bush and others to keep her alive.

An autopsy released Wednesday concluded that she had been in a persistent vegetative state and revealed no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused before she collapsed.

It left unanswered the question of why Terri Schiavo’s heart stopped, cutting oxygen off from her brain. The autopsy showed she suffered irreversible brain damage and her brain had shrunk to half the normal size for her age.

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