September 1, 2016
After Amanda was pronounced dead on May 20, 2015 and her organs were harvested for donation, her body was sent to The Southwestern Institute for Forensic Science in Dallas, Texas for autopsy. This is what we pleaded for, in hopes to get confirmation of what we suspected; at the same time wondering if we were wrong.
I have told the story before, but will recap. After her death she was sent for an autopsy. In the detective’s report, he stated “At about 2145 hours, I received a call from the intake clerk at SWIFS who gathered information for the doctor to conduct the autopsy on 5/21/15.” We got notice on Friday, May 22 from the funeral home that Amanda had arrived back in Sherman, and that we needed to make some final arrangements. They told us the initial cause of death was suicide. We had to get permission from JP to talk to medical examiner’s office because we had questions to how she determined it a hanging death versus strangulation.
The doctor informed us it was based on 1) no defense wounds to the neck, like fingernail marks trying to fight against a ligature from strangulation; 2) the hyoid bone was not broken. We questioned her about the circumstances around the case and about possibility of boyfriend strangling her then staging it to appear to be suicide, and about the ligature used matching marks. She informed us that Amanda came to the facility as female possible suicide by hanging. There was no other evidence sent with her, such as ligature, photos, blood work, circumstances, witness statements, family concerns, etc. Our questions then became how can a complete and accurate autopsy be performed when the only information provided was suicide by hanging? Wouldn’t that limit your focus to one cause of death? What is the possibility she would call the detective and say ‘hey this is suspicious of homicide’? Is that how forensic pathology works? I don’t know but am open to input.
In a book by Dr. Dinesh Rao, a forensic pathologist, he explains that death due to strangulation has some general features. “Evidence of violent compression or constriction of the neck during life is obtained from the presence of bruising or ecchymosis about the neck, haemorrhages in the strap muscles, under the skin…..” All of that was present. In my opinion, it seems impossible for her to have all the trauma present by her sitting on her knees, leaning forward into a cord (not tied) for less than 10-15 minutes (per Brayan). He told me he saw her sitting in the window when he drove up to the house. So with a blood alcohol of 384, she managed to do everything he said happened. I’M NOT BUYING IT!
In a follow up meeting with the detective, he said he didn’t know why the medical examiner said she didn’t know anything about the case. He stated he spoke extensively about it to her. Their stories do not match up about what he said he reported to her personally and what she told us on May 22. In his report, he stated “On 5/21/15, SWIFS assigned case # for Amanda…..At 1445 hours, I spoke with medical examiner Dr. Jill Urban. I discussed in detail the investigation and she advised that based on the information provided and her autopsy that her official ruling was ‘a suicide’.” That’s odd, because we spoke to the same doctor on 5/22/15, the day after the autopsy, and she said she didn’t know anything about the case. I sent her all my photos I took along with police records and explained what witnesses came forward and told us while she was in ICU. Also, the autopsy was performed at 10:00 am on 5/21, and he spoke to her according to his report, at 1445…that’s almost 5 hours AFTER the autopsy.
There are so many things that don’t make sense about this autopsy. It went back and forth between us, Sherman police department and medical examiner’s office for 4 months. Our meeting with the assistant chief of police in September ended with him promising to thoroughly look into the case. He told us he would personally call the medical examiner’s office, and asked me to send him all the pictures I had taken of Amanda immediately after with all her injuries and the day she passed away with the healing that had taken place. Tomorrow’s post will be details from his report and what his findings were concerning Amanda’s case. Let’s just say, he backs the detective 100%.
Thank you for reading, liking, commenting and sharing Amanda’s case of injustice!