Coroner's report

Office of the Yoknapatawpha County Coroner

08/28/2023, 8:00 a.m. by

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



Victoria Witte, M.D.


Full Autopsy Performed


 WATERSON, Kristal Bentley

Coroner's Case #:

Date of Birth:




Date of Death:
 6:30 PM, 08/26/2023 – 12:30 AM, 08/27/2023

Body Identified by:
 Michelle Prescott, cousin of the deceased

Case #

Investigative Agency:
 Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department




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The autopsy is begun at 8:00 a.m. on August 28, 2023. The body is presented in a black body bag.

At the time of examination, the body is dressed in a white sleeveless turtleneck shirt and navy blue sweatpants. Jewelry included two smooth-textured silver hoop pierced earrings, 1-inch diameter, one in each ear, and one 1-inch wide silver expandable wristband on left wrist.

A 1.5-inch wide tan belt with green stripes is cinched around the upper neck using the buckle. The opposite end of the belt is tied in a half-hitch knot, which was used to affix it to the crossbar in the closet where the body was found. 

Removal of the belt revealed a contusion to be described below.

The body is that of a normally developed, well-nourished Caucasian female measuring 67 inches in length, weighing 118 pounds, and appearing generally consistent with the stated age of twenty-six years. The body is cold and unembalmed. Lividity is fixed in the distal portions of the limbs. 

The head is symmetric. The eyes are open. The irises are brown and the corneas are cloudy. Petechial hemorrhaging is present in the conjunctival surfaces of the eyes. The pupils measure 0.3 cm.

The hair is dark blonde with lighter blonde highlights, wavy, layered, and approximately 11 inches in length at the longest point. 

The teeth are natural with some amalgam restorations.

Upon removal of the victim’s clothing, an odor of bleach was detected. Areas of the body were swabbed and submitted for detection of hypochlorite.

Following removal of the shirt, a second contusion to be described below was observed.

The body hair is female and average except as noted below.

The anterior chest and abdomen are symmetric and intact.

The back is symmetrical and intact.

The genitalia is that of an adult female, and there is no evidence of injury. Pubic hair has been shaved in its entirety within six hours of death.

Limbs are equal, symmetrically developed, and show no evidence of injury. The fingernails are medium length, and the fingernail beds are blue.

There are no residual scars, markings, or tattoos.


CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: The brain weighs 1,303 grams and is within normal limits. Hemorrhaging from Ligature Mark B penetrates the skin and subdermal tissues of the neck.

MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM: The hyoid bone is fractured. The remainder of the musculoskeletal system is intact, unremarkable, and within normal limits.

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: The heart weighs 253 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 is present.

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: The oral cavity shows no lesions. Petechial hemorrhaging is present in the mucosa of the lips and the interior of the mouth. Otherwise, the mucosa is intact and there are no injuries to the lips, teeth, or gums. 

There is no obstruction of the airway. The mucosa of the epiglottis, glottis, piriform sinuses, trachea, and major bronchi are anatomic. No injuries are seen and there are no mucosal lesions. The hyoid bone, the thyroid, and the cricoid cartilages are fractured.

The lungs are unremarkable and weigh: right, 355 grams; left, 362 grams.

GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM: The mucosa and wall of the esophagus are intact and gray-pink, free from lesions or any type of injury. The gastric mucosa is intact and pink with the absence of injury. Approximately 125 ml of partially digested semisolid food is found in the stomach. The pancreas on section is uniform, gray-pink, and moderately firm. The mucosa of the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, and rectum are intact and free from injury. Externally the small intestine, appendix, and colon are unremarkable.

HEPATOBILIARY SYSTEM: The liver weighs 1,328 grams. The gallbladder contains 3 cc of thick green viscid bile, no stones, and is grossly normal. The extrahepatic biliary system is unremarkable. The pancreas shows the usual lobular architecture.

URINARY SYSTEM: The kidneys weigh: left 115 grams, right 113 grams. The kidneys are anatomic in size, shape, and location and are without lesions. The pelvic calyceal system and ureters are unremarkable. The bladder contained 2cc of urine. With this removed, the bladder wall is 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. The inguinal regions and buttocks are normal. There is evidence of recent sexual activity but no indications that the sexual contact was forcible. Vaginal fluid samples are removed for analysis.

TOXICOLOGY: A sample of the right pleural blood and bile are submitted for toxicologic analysis. Stomach contents are saved.

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


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(1) A contusion (known throughout this report as Ligature Mark A) is present on the neck below the mandible.

Ligature Mark A is approximately 1.5 inches wide and encircles the neck in the form of a "V" on the anterior of the neck and an inverted "V" on the posterior of the neck, consistent with hanging.

Minor abrasions are present in the area of Ligature Mark A. No hemorrhage is observed surrounding Ligature Mark A.

Opinion: This is a post-mortem injury.

(2) A contusion (known throughout this report as Ligature Mark B) is present on the victim’s neck. The contusion is dark red and encircles the neck, crossing the anterior midline of the neck just below the laryngeal prominence.

The width of the mark varies between 0.8 and 1cm and is horizontal in orientation.

The skin of the anterior neck above and below the ligature mark shows petechial hemorrhaging. 

Ligature Mark B is not consistent with the belt that caused Ligature Mark A. The absence of abrasions associated with Ligature Mark B, along with the variations in the width of the ligature mark, are consistent with a soft ligature, such as a length of fabric.

No trace evidence was recovered from Ligature Mark B that might assist in identification of the ligature used.

Opinion: This is a fatal injury.


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
Neisseria meningitides B/E. Coli K1: Negative


Urine screen {Immunoassay} was NEGATIVE

Blood (Heart) Ethanol: 0.00g/dL
Clinicopathologic Correlation: None

Vitreous Ethanol: 0.00g/dL
Clinicopathologic Correlation: None

Additional analyses pending.

Millicent Schmid, Ph.D.
Chief Toxicologist
August 29, 2023


1. Decedent's clothing

• One (1) white turtleneck sleeveless shirt, size small

• One (1) pair navy blue sweatpants, size small

• Two (2) silver hoop earrings

• One (1) silver bracelet

• One (1) white sports bra

• One (1) white underwear

2. One (1) 1.5-inch wide tan belt with green stripes

3. Samples of Blood (type O+), Vitreous Fluid, Bile, and Tissue (heart, lung, brain, kidney, liver, spleen)

3. Stomach contents

4. Fifteen (15) swabs from various body locations, to be tested for the presence of hypochlorite

5. Eleven (11) autopsy photographs

6. One (1) postmortem CT scan

7. One (1) postmortem MRI


Time of Death: Body and environmental temperatures, rigor and livor mortis, stomach contents, and other factors approximate the time of death between 6:30 p.m. on 08/26/2023 and 12:30 a.m. on 08/27/2023.

Cause of Death: Asphyxia due to ligature strangulation (Ligature Mark B)

Manner of Death: Homicide


//Manish Agarwal, M.D.
Yoknapatawpha County Coroner's Office
August 29, 2023


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