Office of the Yoknapatawpha County Coroner

DATE and HOUR AUTOPSY PERFORMED:
01/13/2018 8:30 A.M. by

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

Assistant:
Victoria Witte, M.D.

Full Autopsy Performed

SUMMARY REPORT OF AUTOPSY

Name:
SMITH, Veronica Sherman

Coroner's Case #:
2018-16

Date of Birth:
09/10/1979

Age:
38

Race:
White

Sex:
Female

Date of Death:
01/12/2018

Body Identified by:
George O'Connor, husband of the deceased

Case #
000229-12A-2018

Investigative Agency:
Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department

EVIDENCE OF TREATMENT

N/A

EXTERNAL EXAMINATION - SUMMARY

The autopsy is begun at 8:30 a.m. on January 13, 2018. The body is presented in a black body bag. When first viewed, the deceased is clothed in a blue denim short-sleeved shirt and blue denim jeans. Jewelry included a wedding ring, an engagement ring and five bracelets, three around the right wrist and two around the left wrist. The head is covered with a white plastic bag.

The body is that of a normally developed white female of average nutritional status, measuring 66 inches and weighing 210 pounds, and appearing generally consistent with the state age of 38 years. Preservation is fair on the unembalmed body. The body is cold to the touch following refrigeration. Lividity is fixed on the posterior surface of the body.

The scalp is covered by dark blonde, straight hair approximately 20 cm in length and slightly brittle. The body hair is female and average. The skull is symmetrical and intact. The eyes are closed. The irises are hazel. The sclerae are clear. The pupils measure 0.4 cm. The teeth are natural and well maintained.

The anterior chest is of normal contour and is intact. The breasts are female and contain no palpable masses. The abdomen is protuberant, and the pelvis is intact. The external genitalia are female and unremarkable. The back is symmetrical and intact. The upper and lower extremities are symmetric, normally developed and intact. The hands and nails are clean and evidence no injury.

There are no residual scars, markings or tattoos.

INTERNAL EXAMINATION - SUMMARY

BODY CAVITIES: Generalized visceral congestion is observed. The diaphragm is intact. The organs are normally located.

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: The brain weighs 1,340 grams and is within normal limits. The vasculature of the basilar and cerebral arterial circulatory systems are unremarkable. With the dura removed, the base of the skull is free of fractures.

MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM: The musculoskeletal system is intact, unremarkable and within normal limits.

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: The oral cavity shows no lesions. The mucosa is intact, and there are no injuries to the teeth or gums. Minor contusions are observed on the gingival mucosa. There is no obstruction of the airway. The mucosa of the epiglottis, glottis, piriform sinuses, trachea and major bronchi are anatomic. No injuries and no mucosal lesions are seen. The hyoid bone, the thyroid, and the cricoid cartilages are intact. Generalized visceral congestion is observed. Petechial hemorrhages are observed in the visceral pleura. The lungs are congested and edematous. The lungs weigh: right, 400 grams; left, 350 grams.

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: The heart weighs 278 grams, and has a normal size and configuration. The blood is dark blue in color. Moderate signs of atherosclerosis are present.

GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM: The mucosa and wall of the esophagus are intact and gray-pink, without lesions or injuries. The gastric mucosa is intact and pink without injury. Approximately 225 ml of partially digested semisolid food is found in the stomach. The mucosa of the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, and rectum are intact.

URINARY SYSTEM: The kidneys weigh: left, 125 grams; right, 130 grams. The kidneys are anatomic in size, shape, and location and are without lesions.

FEMALE GENITAL SYSTEM: The structures are within normal limits. The deceased has given birth in the past. There are signs of recent consensual sexual activity.

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

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

DESCRIPTION OF INJURIES - SUMMARY

(1) Contusion measuring 3.2 cm by .6 cm on the upper gingival mucosa.

Opinion: This is a non-fatal perimortem injury.

(2) Contusion measuring 2.4 cm by .5 cm on the lower gingival mucosa.

Opinion: This is a non-fatal perimortem injury.

LABORATORY DATA

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
Neiserria meningitidis B/E. Coli K1: Negative

Drug Screen Results:

Urine screen {Immunoassay} was positive for phencyclidine and ethanol.
Ethanol: .03 g/dL, Blood (Heart)
Ethanol: .03 g/dL, Vitreous

GC-MS analysis was positive for ketamine.

Millicent Schmid, Ph.D.
Chief Toxicologist
January 22, 2018

EVIDENCE COLLECTED

1. Samples of hair, blood (type O+), urine, bile, and tissue (heart, lung, brain, kidney, liver, spleen)

2. Five (5) autopsy photographs

3. Two (2) postmortem x-rays

4. Two (2) standard fingerprint cards

5. One (1) pair women's denim jeans, blue

6. One (1) women's denim shirt, short-sleeved, blue

7. One (1) women's wedding band, gold

8. One (1) women’s engagement ring, diamond and gold

9. Five (5) bracelets made up of numerous small decorations of silver, glass, stone, and bead. 

10. One (1) plastic bag, white, 17" x 18"

Clothing, jewelry, plastic bag, hair sample, blood sample, urine sample and one of the fingerprint cards transferred to Crime Lab for further analysis and comparison.

OPINION

Time of Death: Body temperature, rigor and livor mortis, stomach contents and other factors approximate the time of death between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on 01/12/2018.

Immediate Cause of Death: Asphyxiation

Manner of Death: Homicide

//Manish Agarwal, M.D.
Yoknapatawpha County Coroner's Office
January 22, 2018

 

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Comments (6)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Ketamine + Phencyclidine (PCP)...

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

So, I was wrong about ketamine being the cause of death. It's clearly asphyxiation, and with the unidentified fingerprints from the preliminary forensics, this definitely points to murder. No one can contest it now. (coughKennethcough)

As...

So, I was wrong about ketamine being the cause of death. It's clearly asphyxiation, and with the unidentified fingerprints from the preliminary forensics, this definitely points to murder. No one can contest it now. (coughKennethcough)

As coraliblues pointed out, ketamine and PCP? Both can be used recreationally. I bet that was why they're in Veronica's system. Her blood alcohol level isn't above the legal limit, but enough the it might have made killing her a little easier, if she was tipsy. Still, what as Veronica getting up to?

Still theorizing, but right now I still think the acetaminophen with hydrocodone tablets point to Kenneth Lemmons. It only puts him at the scene of the crime though, and presuming the unidentified prints are his. We could have two sets of unidentified prints on both the plastic bag and the Altoids tin. The reports don't say whether or not they match.

Any thoughts?

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

No,but I like your thinking. You guys are way over my head. Keep it up!

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I want to know when George and Veronica had sex, autopsy said it was recent and consensual, wonder when George recollects the last time was. Maybe she was having an affair?

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

It say "asphyxiation", and I would NEVER second guess the coroner, but I thought if you were strangled there were blood dots on you eyes. It says that the sclerae were clear. Can anyone add to this?
She also wasn't rip roaring drunk, or even a...

It say "asphyxiation", and I would NEVER second guess the coroner, but I thought if you were strangled there were blood dots on you eyes. It says that the sclerae were clear. Can anyone add to this?
She also wasn't rip roaring drunk, or even a little schnockered, for a woman who had been out drinking with friends and had come home to drink any real quantity of rum. Maybe we (or at least "me") are putting too much emphasis on the 'she was a lush' angle. Maybe just getting out of the house was the real motivation for her Roadhouse attendance.
Maybe I missed something, but Shielddrake42, what is the hydrocodone connection to Kenneth?
LukeFeam, I totally missed the sex part. Absolutely a clue to track down.
The contusions sound like she was punched in the mouth shortly before she died. Crime of passion? The white bag is a common enough item. A fight gone too far? Hmmm

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

If you look at the preliminary forensics report, it shows that that two white oval tablets found in the Altoids tin are acetaminophen with hydrocodone. This is a powerful pain killer, and the only person I recall who talks about pain is Kenneth...

If you look at the preliminary forensics report, it shows that that two white oval tablets found in the Altoids tin are acetaminophen with hydrocodone. This is a powerful pain killer, and the only person I recall who talks about pain is Kenneth Lemmons about his back. (Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall anyone else talking about pain.) Other people who work in a hospital, like Ruthie or Michael, could have access to pain medications like hydrocodone, but my first guess is Kenneth. It's just speculation on my part that they belong to him, but I think that's the case.

I'm not absolutely positive on this, but I think the asphyxiation with clear sclerae is because Veronica was more smothered than strangled. I think the petechiae happen when there's compression on the blood vessels to and from the head, like if she was strangled with a cord or hung. Since her breathing was impaired by the plastic bag on her head, technically her blood flow wasn't affected. Again, I'm not an expert. That's just my guess.

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