YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

Investigating Officer(s): Det. T. Armstrong, Det. S. Murphy
Incident No.: 001316-26D-2014 / 001457-09E-2014
Case Description: Laurie Daniels homicide investigation / Arson and homicide investigation, Daniels residence


INVESTIGATION STATUS REPORT SUMMARY
All detailed reports on file.

May 13, 2014

Via a telephone conversation, the coroner's office indicates autopsies are still in progress on the remains recovered from the woods behind the Daniels property on May 11, 2014, and written reports will not be available for several days. However, they did provide a preliminary verbal report as follows.

  • The skeletal remains found NNE of the pool house have been identified through dental comparison as Melanie Daniels.
    • Cause of death has not been determined. No evidence of gunshot wound(s), sharp force trauma, or blunt force trauma has been found to date. The hyoid bone is intact.
    • Toxicological tests are pending.
    • Time of death has not been determined but is believed to be years, rather than months, weeks or days, potentially consistent with the last sighting of Melanie Daniels in 2006.
    • Along with the adult skeletal remains, skeletal remains of a 9-12 week fetus were also recovered. Sex of the fetus could not be determined. Cause of death for the fetus is believed to be intrauterine fetal demise due to maternal death.
    • DNA analyses are being attempted for both victims.
  • The partially decomposed remains found NNW of the pool house have been tentatively identified through tool mark comparison as Laurie Daniels.
    • DNA analysis is in progress to verify the identification.
    • Toxicological tests are pending.
    • Suspected cause of death as of this date is a single close-range gunshot wound to the chest. A projectile visually consistent with a 9mm bullet has been recovered and is undergoing ballistic analysis.
    • Based on level of decomposition and other factors, preliminary estimate of time of death is approximately 12-16 weeks prior to date of discovery.

Following consultation with YCSD Chief of Detectives James Harris and Yoknapatawpha County Assistant District Attorney R. J Metcalf, active investigation of YCSD Case # 001316-26D-2014 is closed as of this date.

 

Report filed 5/13/14, 6:43 p.m. by Det. T. Armstrong, 615, and Det. S. Murphy, 633

 

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