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Evidence: Coroner's Scene Report

Office of the Yoknapatawpha County Coroner

Coroner's Case Number:
 2004-277

Coroner's Investigator at Incident:
 Luwinda Johnson

Incident Date:
 May 23, 2004

Incident Address:
 588 Hathorn Road, Apt. 232
 Oxford, MS

SUMMARY REPORT OF SCENE

Name:
 WATERSON, Kristal Bentley

Date of Birth:
 March 23, 1978

Race:
 White

Sex:
 Female

Date of Death:
 5/22/2004

YCSD Case #:
 001294-23E-2004

CORONER'S INSPECTOR'S NARRATIVE:

Coroner's Inspector arrived at the scene at 9:45 AM.  Environmental conditions at the scene: Ambient exterior temperature approximately 75°F/24°C, Relative Humidity approximately 78%; Ambient interior temperature approximately 72°F/22°C, Relative Humidity approximately 73%.

C/I was directed through the living and dining area, the master bedroom and the master bathroom to a walk-in closet located off the master bathroom. C/I observed a lifeless human body, a female apparently in her early twenties, hanging from a crossbar in the closet. The body was facing the door of the closet with the feet touching the floor and the knees slightly bent. Visual inspection indicated the victim was wearing a white mock turtleneck short-sleeved shirt and navy blue sweatpants. The victim had no shoes or socks on her feet. The body hung from a light tan cotton-poly blend belt with green stripes. The belt was cinched around the victim's neck using the buckle end and tied using a half-hitch knot to the crossbar at the opposite end. The length of belt between the crossbar and the victim's neck was 8". The crossbar is 5' 4" above the floor of the closet. The victim is 5' 7" tall. C/I verified the victim had no signs of life including respiration and heartbeat and pronounced the victim deceased at 9:57 AM.

C/I noted the presence of an upward-angled ligature mark on the upper neck of the victim, consistent with the position of the body and the belt around the neck when the victim was found. Visual observation revealed no immediate indications of any other injuries.  Rigor mortis was well-established throughout the body.

Liver temperature at the scene was 86.2°F/30.1°C. Skin is waxy and cool to the touch. Eyes are open and corneas are cloudy. Preliminary estimate is that death occurred approximately 12 to 14 hours prior to examination, subject to revision pending formal autopsy. Apparent cause of death is asphyxiation due to ligature strangulation.

Body was removed from the scene at 10:45 AM.

Apparent Manner of Death:

 Suicide

Apparent Cause of Death:

 Ligature strangulation.

Estimated Time of Death:

 Preliminary indicators, including body temperature, rigor mortis and other factors, approximate the time of death between 7:30 P.M. 5/22/2004 and 9:30 P.M. 5/22/2004.

//Luwinda Johnson
Yoknapatawpha County Coroner's Office
May 23, 2004

 

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