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:
Apparent Cause of Death:
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.
Yoknapatawpha County Coroner's Office
May 23, 2004