Coroner's report - John Doe #008
Office of the Yoknapatawpha County Coroner
DATE and HOUR AUTOPSY PERFORMED:
Manish Agarwal, M.D.
Victoria Witte, M.D.
Full Autopsy Performed
SUMMARY PRELIMINARY REPORT OF AUTOPSY
Coroner's Case #:
Date of Birth:
Date of Death:
Body Identified by:
EVIDENCE OF TREATMENT
The autopsy is begun at 8:30 A.M. on May 10, 2014. The body is presented in a black body bag admixed with fragments of collapsed and burnt construction debris and body tissues.
The body is the charred remains of an adult white male measuring 72 inches (residual) and weighing 142 pounds (residual).
Focally burnt, blackened and fragmented clothing items include: sweater, shirt, trousers, and underpants. In addition, a yellow metal ring was recovered from the left hand.
The head is partially collapsed with detached and partially charred scalp. The detached scalp consists of short brown hair. The charred anterior scalp presents prominent heat lacerations across the frontal area in a horizontal orientation.
Gunshot wound of the right occipital is present, described below. There is extensive fragmentation and bone loss of both the parietals.
The facial features are markedly disfigured due to charring and blackening. There is singing of hair of the eyelids and eyebrows. Nasal cavities contain a large amount of blood and there is a single gunshot wound of the midline involving the septum, described below.
Oral cavity presents natural teeth with good oral hygiene. Protrusion of tongue is noted. Ears are absent.
Both face and neck are extensively charred but present essentially intact mandible and hyoid although the mid-segment of the extra thoracic trachea and the attached esophagus are partially destroyed.
Chest and abdomen show significant heat damage. The chest wall shows similar areas of intense soft tissue damage. All the vertebrae, left and right ribs and the two scapulae are present. Charred male external genitalia are present. Back presents global charring.
The left upper extremity is extensively charred but presents essentially intact. The right upper extremity consists of a heat-fractured humerus and attached charred soft tissue as well as attached remnant of right distal arm including heat-fractured radius and ulna.
Lower extremities are burned and charred but remain intact to mid-foot.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: The brain weighs 862 grams presenting cooked cerebral hemispheres encased within an intact dura interrupted only at the site of bullet injury. Focal areas of postmortem heat-related left epidural hematoma is present. Brainstem along with the Circle of Willis is totally disrupted with diffuse basal hemorrhage and hematoma and posterior fossa hematoma weighing 43 grams. On coronal sectioning of the brain, the ventricular system contains hemorrhagic fluid.
CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: The heart weighs 259 grams, and has a normal size and configuration. Cardiac valves and coronary ostia are anatomic and unremarkable. No evidence of atherosclerosis or gross ischemic changes of recent or remote origin are present.
RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: Neck presents extensive heat damage with destruction of soft tissues as well as mid-segment of trachea and esophagus. Cervical spine is in the midline and essentially unremarkable. Hyoid bone and larynx are relatively well preserved with intact epiglottis. Both lungs present significant cancerous growth. The lungs weigh: left, 392 grams; right 404 grams.
GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM: Extra thoracic esophagus is partially charred in the region of tracheal damage with the rest of the esophagus and stomach intact. The small intestine, colon and rectum are diffusely charred and focally incinerated. Appendix is identified and reveals heat-related injury.
URINARY SYSTEM: The kidneys weigh: left, 103 grams; right, 99 grams. The kidneys are anatomic in size, shape and location and are without lesions. The pelvic calyceal system and ureters are unremarkable. The bladder is devoid of urine.
MALE GENITAL SYSTEM: The testes and penis present significant charring. The prostate gland is unremarkable.
TOXICOLOGY: Samples of hair are submitted for toxicologic analysis.
SEROLOGY: A sample of blood is submitted in the EDTA tube. Routine toxicologic studies were ordered.
DESCRIPTION OF INJURIES - SUMMARY
(1) Entry gunshot wound of the right posterior head at the right occipital bone (GSW #1)
Description: Wound is localized to the right lower occipital area, approximately 1.5 cm right of the external occipital protuberant. Overlying scalp is charred and missing.
The defect is circular and presents a smooth surface on the outer table with a diameter of 1.0 cm. The inner table is beveled and has a diameter of 1.2 cm. There is blackening at the superior margin of the defect, related most probably to charring.
Two radiating fractures are present, the first directed laterally into the charred defect of right parietal bone and the second radiating for a distance of 2.8 cm from lower right of defect to the right occipital condyle.
Subsequent examination and autopsy reveals that the projectile has traveled in a back to front direction, slightly medially, transecting the brainstem, through the cribriform plate and making an exit through GSW #2.
Opinion: This is a fatal injury.
(2) Exit gunshot wound of nose (GSW #2)
Description: Wound is located within the midline of the nose at the septum, which is torn and is surrounded by dark coagulated blood extending deep into the recesses of the nasal cavities as well as into the maxillary sinuses.
Associated with the path of the projectile, there is a massive craniocerebral trauma. The calvarium presents, in addition to the injury described above, a radiating fracture to the posterior vomer, left orbital roof and the left frontal bone. Furthermore, there is fracture of left maxilla noted.
There are no projectile fragments recovered at autopsy.
Opinion: This is a fatal injury.
(3) Global charring with extensive body mutilation
Opinion: This is a postmortem injury.
Drug Screen Results:
Further analyses to establish toxin levels are in progress.
Millicent Schmid, Ph.D.
1. Samples of Blood, Bile, and Tissue (heart, lung, brain, kidney, liver, spleen)
2. Eleven (11) autopsy photographs
3. Three (3) postmortem dental x-rays
4. Residual clothing for trace evidence analysis
Hair sample, blood sample and tissue sample transferred to Crime Lab for further analysis.
Time of Death: Autopsy findings and witness statements approximate the time of death between 6:00 p.m. on May 8, 2014 and 2:00 p.m. on May 9, 2014.
Immediate Cause of Death: Craniocerebral trauma due to gunshot wound of head
Manner of Death: Homicide
Remarks: Autopsy was performed on a rush basis at the request of the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department and the Yoknapatawpha County District Attorney. Findings presented here are preliminary and subject to revision at a later date, particularly concerning toxicological analysis.
Some analysis results were not available as of this date as more time is required to complete the analyses.
//Manish Agarwal, M.D.