Joseph Galiwango has spent the past year using email to try to solve the mystery of his father's death halfway around the world. Now he and his family are calling on the Canadian government for help.

Dr. Joe Galiwango, 70, was found dead at his country home in Uganda on June 9, 2016, just days before he was supposed to travel to Canada to visit family and meet his newest grandchild. 

"It's tragic and it feels awful," said Joseph. "Everything is fragmented because his death kind of exists in Uganda, but his memory lives with my family here."

Dr. Joe Galiwango

Galiwango was found dead in the bedroom of his country home in Uganda in 2016. (Joseph Galiwango)

Early reports indicated the popular pediatrician, who helped found a neonatal intensive care unit in Windsor and was known for handing out cookies after checkups, had taken his own life. But evidence gathered at the scene and conflicting stories from his wife, Evelyn, created cracks in that theory.

Joseph and Paul  Galiwango are sons from a previous marriage. Evelyn has not responded to CBC News asking for comment.

'There is a precedent that has been set ... of Canadian citizens who have been harmed and killed in other places. Based on that precedent they should be helping us more.' - Joseph Galiwango

The doctor was found dead in the bedroom of a country home after an argument with his wife, according to Ugandan police. It's still not clear how he travelled so far from the couple's house in town or how people working at the house didn't know he was there until they saw a light on in his bedroom, broke down the door and found his body.

The funeral that followed wasn't characterized by mourning and heartbreak, but speeches where people speculated about the way the doctor died, how wealthy he was and the "gifts" he had promised them, which added to the family's suspicions, said Joseph.

'He had so much to live for'

Ugandan officials said the cause of the doctor's death would be listed as "inconclusive" until a toxicology report was completed. A year after Galiwango's death, that report still hasn't been completed and the family are no closer to learning what killed him.

Joseph refuses to believe his father would take his own life. The doctor's move to Uganda in 2012 was meant to "finalize" his retirement. Messages he sent his sons contentedly spoke of naps, gardening and how excited he was to meet his newest grandchild, Paul Jr.

"He had so much to live for," said Joseph.

Dr. Joe Galiwango

Galiwango is shown with his sons Joseph (left) and Paul. The family are asking the Canadian government to help them put pressure on Ugandan officials to complete a toxicology report on the doctor's death. (Jospeh Galiwango)

The family are working with a lawyer in Uganda named Paul Sebunya to monitor the investigation and have been communicating with him via email and late-night Skype sessions.

"In my opinion, a toxicology analysis should not take a full year," said Sebunya. "At least you should show tests have been done and you're just waiting for analysis."

Sebunya said a toxic insecticide was found in the room along with the doctor's naked body. Galiwango appeared to have been reaching for the door. Sebunya said he feels the signs point to poisoning rather than suicide. But without a toxicology report the investigation has stalled, and the family seem to be the only ones pushing for answers.

Consulate working with local officials

The lawyer said he reached out to the Canadian consulate in Kampala, Uganda, but after an initial email exchange it didn't respond to his follow-up messages. It wasn't until CBC News reached out to Global Affairs for an update on the investigation into the doctor's death that he heard from them again. 

On Monday, a spokesperson for the government said Canadian consular officials in Uganda, Nairobi and Kenya were working with local authorities and assisting the family of a "Canadian citizen who died in Uganda recently." Further details of what that "assistance" might entail were withheld because of the Privacy Act.

The scant response isn't enough to satisfy a family searching for hope amid a tragedy.

"There is a precedent that has been set, I think, of Canadian citizens who have been harmed and killed in other places," said Joseph. "Based on that precedent they should be helping us more."

Paul Sebunya - lawyer Dr. Joe Galiwango

Paul Sebunya, a lawyer in Uganda, has been helping the Galiwango family search for answers. (Skype)

It's an opinion Sebunya shares. He said pressure from the Canadian government could help close the case.

"The Canadian government can play a reasonable role by coming on board to speed up the investigation and these tests," he said. "We cannot get to the bottom of this unless we find out the cause of death."

Delay after delay

​So far, Joseph has been given various reasons for the slow pace of the investigation. He's been told officials are on vacation and that evidence was accidentally locked in an office drawer. He described the last year as frustrating and unsettling. 

Sebunya said he's not the "type of lawyer who sits in his office" waiting for things to be done. He's promised the Galiwangos to help find the answers they so desperately need.

Right now, that support is enough to give Joseph hope, but he knows there's are still obstacles standing between his family and the truth.

"It's just delay after delay," he said "It can't drag on forever. If we're still here a year from now then that will be really something to have despair about."