Menu

 

Office of the Yoknapatawpha County Coroner

DATE and HOUR AUTOPSY PERFORMED:
1/15/2014, 1:00 p.m. by

Manish Agarwal, M.D.
555 Jackson Avenue
Oxford, MS 38655
662-234-XXXX (FAX 662-234-XXXX)

 

Assistant:

Victoria Witte, M.D.

 

Full Autopsy Performed

SUMMARY PRELIMINARY REPORT OF AUTOPSY

Name:
 MAXWELL, Caitlin Elizabeth

Coroner's Case #:
 2014-009

Date of Birth:
 01/28/1995

Age:
 18

Race:
 White

Sex:
 Female

Date of Death:
 1/2/2014 - 1/4/2014

Body Identified by:
 Dental records

Case #
 000073-05A-2014

Investigative Agency:
 Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department

EXTERNAL EXAMINATION

The autopsy is begun at 1:00 p.m. on January 15, 2014. The body is presented in a black body bag. When first viewed, the deceased is clothed in blue jeans, white sweatshirt, light blue long-sleeved shirt, white athletic socks, white bra, blue women's underwear, and white athletic shoes. Soil is visible on all items. Four cuts and tears are observed in the shirt and sweatshirt: (1) one 1-inch slit-like tear on the front lower right; (2) one 1.2-inch slit-like tear on the front lower right; (3) one diagonally-oriented 4-inch on the left upper sleeve; and (4) one 1-inch slit-like tear on the back lower left. The bra has no cuts or tears and has dark stains on the front lower right edge and the back lower left edge. Dark stains are also visible on the jeans and both shoes.

The body is that of a well-developed, well-nourished white female measuring 64 inches in length, weighing 106 pounds, and appearing generally consistent with the stated age of 18 years. Rigor mortis is absent. Livor mortis is advanced and detectable on the right cheek, posterior trunk and right shoulder area.

The scalp is covered by medium-length, brown hair. The eyes are retracted and opaque. No evidence of conjunctive petechial hemorrhage. The nose and ears are unremarkable. Small, irregular brown abrasions near anterior to the right ear are consistent with ant bites. The upper and lower teeth are natural, there is one amalgam orthodontic filling in the 15th molar consistent with orthodontic records for Caitlin Maxwell. The head is normocephalic and otherwise the face, nose, eyes, neck gums and lips show no evidence of traumatic injury and are unremarkable.

The chest is symmetrical, the abdomen is tight and distended. Palpation shows evidence of soft tissue. Multiple sharp force injuries, described below, are observed in the anterior and posterior of the trunk. Laterally, there is a natural skin pigmentation mark transversely oriented, approximating a triangular shape measuring 1.1 cm by .5 cm by 1.3 cm located 9 cm to the right of the midline and 67 cm from the crown on the right lower back, consistent with medical records for Caitlin Maxwell.

The external genitalia are unremarkable and show no evidence of injury or trauma. The upper and lower extremities show no deformities. A sharp force injury to the lateral aspect of the left upper arm is described below. There are no scars or signs of surgical treatment. The hands and nails are dirt encrusted with evidence of sharp force injury described below.

The medical record is present.

There are no  additional residual scars, markings or tattoos.

EVIDENCE OF TREATMENT

N/A

INTERNAL EXAMINATION

HEAD--CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: The brain weighs 1,313 grams and is within normal limits. The calvarium and base of the skull are normally configured and have no fractures. The dura is intact, and there is no epidural or subdural hemorrhage.

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: The heart weighs 203 grams, and has a normal size and configuration. No evidence of atherosclerosis or gross ischemic changes of recent or remote origin are present.

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: No injuries are seen and there are no mucosal lesions. The hyoid bone, the thyroid, and the cricoid cartilages are intact. The left and right lungs show basilar atelectasis due to hemothorax caused by sharp force injuries, described below. The visceral pleura are unremarkable.

URINARY SYSTEM: The kidneys weigh: left, 107 grams; right, 104 grams. The kidneys are anatomic in size, shape and location and are without lesions. The pelvic calyceal system and ureters are unremarkable.

FEMALE GENITAL SYSTEM: The structures are within normal limits. Examination of the pelvic area indicates the victim had not given birth and was not pregnant at the time of death. Vaginal fluid samples are removed for analysis.

HEPATOBILIARY SYSTEM: The liver weighs 1,136 grams. The liver on section is uniform and dark brown. No masses are identified. The gallbladder contains 3 cc of thick green viscid bile. The extrahepatic biliary system is unremarkable.

GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT: The mucosa and wall of the esophagus are intact and gray-pink without lesions or injuries. The gastric mucosa is intact and pink with no injury. The stomach contains 3 cc of partially digested semisolid food. The mucosa of the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon and rectum are intact with no injury. The pancreas, small intestine and colon are unremarkable.

MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM: The musculoskeletal system is unremarkable and is within normal limits.

TOXICOLOGY: Samples of central and peripheral blood, vitreous humor, gastric contents, urine, liver and bile are submitted for toxicologic analysis.

SEROLOGY: A sample of right pleural blood is submitted in the EDTA tube. Routine toxicologic studies were ordered.

DESCRIPTION OF INJURIES - SUMMARY

  View injury
diagram

(1) Stab wound to left side of back, 23 inches from the crown of the head, 41 inches from the soles, 6 inches from the midline.

The wound is vertically oriented, and after approximation of the edges, measures 7/8-inch in length. Both the inferior and superior ends of the wound are blunt, and squared measuring 1/32-inch in length superiorly and 1/16-inch inferiorly. The wound shows non-abraded clean, sharp margins with no evidence of contusion at the edges.

Internal examination shows the track to be deeper than the width, with a back to front and slightly downward path. The wound path is through the skin, subcutaneous tissue and through the left 7th rib. The rib is totally incised. The path continues through the left pleural cavity and lateral base of the left lung and subjacent hemorrhagic parenchyma at the base of the lobe. There is overlying bruising in the intercostal musculature. The pleural wound is approximately 1/2-inch. The estimated length of the total wound path is 4 inches. The path of the wound shows hemorrhage and bruising.

Opinion: This is a fatal injury.

(2) Stab wound to the right side of the chest, 22 inches from the crown of the head, approximately 42 inches from the soles, 4 inches from the midline.

The wound is diagonally oriented, and after approximation of the edges, it measures 5/8-inch in length. The inferior end is blunt and squared measuring 1/32-inch in length. The superior end is tapered. The wound shows non-abraded, sharp margins with no evidence of contusion at the edges.

Internal examination shows the path of the wound from front to back and slightly downward. The path is through the skin, subcutaneous tissue and through the intercostal musculature penetrating into the pleural cavity through the 8th right intercostal space without striking rib. The pathway passes through the pleura and subjacent hemorrhagic parenchyma at the base of the right lower lung. The pleural cut measures approximately 1/2-inch, the estimated length of the total wound path is 3.75 inches. The path of the wound shows hemorrhage and bruising with overlying bruising in the intercostal musculature.

Opinion: This is a fatal injury.

(3) Stab wound to the right side of the chest, 21 inches from the crown of the head, approximately 43 inches from the soles, 5 inches from the midline.

The wound is vertically oriented, and after approximation of the edges, measures 1 inch in length. Both the inferior and superior ends of the wound are blunt and squared measuring 1/32-inch in length superiorly and 1/16-inch inferiorly. The edges of the wound are non-abraded, non-contused and clean.

The path of the wound is front to back with little deviation. The path is through the skin, subcutaneous tissue and through the intercostal musculature incising the 7th rib and penetrating into the pleural cavity. The pathway passes through the pleura and subjacent hemorrhagic parenchyma, 1/2-inch and 5/8-inch pleural cuts are found anteriorly and posteriorly respectively.

Opinion: This is a fatal injury.

(4) Incised or cutting wound to the lateral outer aspect of the left upper arm, located 3 inches below the shoulder joint. The path of the wound is back to front, through the skin and subcutaneous tissue, evidencing a small amount of dermal hemorrhage. The track is diagonal extending for 3.25 inches.

Opinion: This is a non-fatal perimortem injury.

(5) Incised or cutting wound to the distal portion of inner aspect of right forearm. This wound is transversely oriented 3 inches from the wrist, measuring 1.5 inches in length. The wound is through the skin and subcutaneous tissue.

Opinion: This is a non-fatal perimortem injury compatible with a defense wound.

(6) Incised or cutting wound to the distal portion of inner aspect of left forearm. This wound is diagonally oriented 2 inches from the wrist, measuring 1.25 inches in length. The wound is through the skin and subcutaneous tissue.

Opinion: This is a non-fatal perimortem injury compatible with a defense wound.

(4) Incised injury of palmar region right hand extending from the base of the little finger diagonally toward the thumb, terminating at approximately the index finger. The wound is 2.75 inches in length and approximately 3/8-inch in depth with hemorrhage at the margins.

Opinion: This is a non-fatal perimortem injury compatible with a defense wound.

LABORATORY DATA

Cerebrospinal fluid culture and sensitivity:

Gram stain: Unremarkable
Culture: No growth after 72 hours

Cerebrospinal fluid bacterial antigens:

Hemophilus influenza B: Negative
Streptococcus pneumoniae: Negative
N. Meningitidis: Negative
Neiserria meningitidis B/E. Coli K1: Negative

Drug Screen Results:

Urine screen {Immunoassay}:

BLOOD   ETHANOL   NEG
BLOOD   CANNABINOIDS-ETS   NEG
BLOOD   COCAINE-ETS   NEG
BLOOD   OPIATES-ETS   NEG
BLOOD   AMPHETAMINE-ETS   NEG
BLOOD   BARBITURATE -ETS   NEG
BLOOD   BENZODIAZEPINE-ETS   NEG
BLOOD   METHADONE-ETS   NEG
BLOOD   PCP-ETS   NEG
BLOOD   CARBON MONOXIDE   NEG

Ethanol: .00 gm/dl, Blood (Heart)

Ethanol: .00 gm/dl, Vitreous

Millicent Schmid, Ph.D.
Chief Toxicologist
January 23, 2014

EVIDENCE COLLECTED

1. One (1) pair women's blue jeans

2. One (1) women's turtleneck shirt, light blue, long-sleeved

3. One (1) women's sweatshirt, white, long-sleeved

4. One (1) brassiere, white

5. One (1) pair women's underwear, blue

6. One (1) pair women's athletic socks, white

7. One (1) pair women's athletic shoes, white

8. Samples of Hair, Blood (type A+), Bile, and Tissue (heart, lung, brain, kidney, liver, spleen).

9. Seventeen (17) autopsy photographs.

10. One postmortem CT scan.

11. One postmortem MRI.

Clothing, hair sample, and blood sample transferred to Crime Lab for further analysis and comparison.

OPINION

Time of Death: Autopsy findings and entomological evidence approximate the time of death between January 2, 2014 and January 4, 2014.

Immediate Cause of Death: Exsanguination due to multiple perforating stab wounds of the chest.

Manner of Death: Homicide

//Manish Agarwal, M.D.
Yoknapatawpha County Coroner's Office
January 24, 2014

 

Please login to comment

People in this conversation

  • I'm not very well versed in reading this but maybe one of you can help me out. Does the livor mortis on her cheek and on her back indicate that she was in two different positions? Like in the car and in the ground? I'm not sure how to read this. I am assuming that the mention of what I read as a description of moles or birth marks is consistent with Caitlin and not Cameron.

  • lgillette, I don't think it means that because it says right side for all of it.

    Since she bled out, there had to be a lot of blood somewhere. Some could have seeped into the ground, I guess. Whoever killed her was very angry and she tried to get away and fought hard, but she wasn't strong enough. Whatever vehicle carried her body to the cemetery had to have blood in it, unless someone was prepared and had a tarp or plastic ready.

  • Thanks Scarlett! Here's another dopey question...I assume the "right" side of the front is the side my right hand is on. Which is the "right" side of your back? I know this sounds silly but I spent about ten minute turning around in a mirror before I realized what I saw was reversed!
    Talk about making something too hard! :D

  • Igillette - livor mortis iis also called morbid lividity, it happens when blood pools after death, gravity moves the no longer circulating blood down to the lowest point. So yes, you're right, it does sound like her body was moved after she was murdered.

  • Thanks Thrasher!

  • You're welcome Iglette! And I'm sorry, I didn't see this til just now, so I don't know if you got an answer to your question about right/left side of body thing. If not, the body is looked at as if standing in front of you, it's called the "Anatomical Position" so everything that is referred to is as if you were the person. The right side has the persons right hand, foot, etc. It works just like you were talking about your own body. I hope that helps!

Have a question or a technical issue?

Let us know so we can help

Go to top