September 4, 2016
The final person we met with from the Sherman Police Department was an assistant chief of police. This was a meeting that we were hoping would change the direction of the investigation, or actually start an investigation. We had met and poured our hearts out to so many people since May, and felt we had enough circumstances, legitimate questions, and discrepancies in the detective’s report to warrant a fair investigation into Amanda’s death.
We told him our concerns with the detective’s investigation. One being that Brayan got in his car 2 days after it happened, leaving everything he owned, and drove away; illegal immigration documents, family photos and letters from his home country, clothes, computer, etc. He said that was ‘typical behavior’ of illegal immigrants because they don’t want any attention brought to themselves. He obviously wasn’t scared in the past after being arrested and cited multiple times in Grayson County. I carried a 5 foot long piece of extension cord similar to what was allegedly used and asked him to demonstrate how, based on his professional opinion, that her injuries could have been caused with no knot and at that length; and also to show me how Brayan could have broken the cord with his bare hands.
We discussed other issues and he assured us he would look into the case “thoroughly” and get back to us. That was last September, still haven’t had a follow-up meeting or even a courtesy reply to my multiple emails. Following are notes from his report I received in May 2016. That is when I found out his official position on Amanda’s case.
He notes that he spoke to the medical examiner on 9/30/15. “Dr. Urban again confirmed the findings described in the autopsy and added she was, ‘more sure since reading the report.’” He continues in his report to say, “In comparing the autopsy photos with photos taken and later provided by Kimberly Mullens, Pierce clearly had ligature marks (deep grooves) around her neck. The clearly defined marks coincided with the skin folds in her neck and remain consistent to the back of her neck (consistent with hanging).” Problems with this:
- Dr. Urban said ‘more sure since reading the report’—what report? When did she read it? I thought the detective spoke to her extensively prior to autopsy?
- He states “receipt of autopsy photos was initially delayed, therefore a second request was sent”. He did not receive autopsy photos until February 1, 2016.
- Yes there were ligature marks in the autopsy photos and my photos. THEY WERE NOT DEEP GROOVES! A deep groove is indication of hanging…. There were NOT deep grooves, there was deep tissue bruising of the front strap muscles on both sides on the LOWER part of her neck, and on one side of the back lower neck. There were abrasions and multiple levels of marks going horizontally. There were two marks going vertical, but the way the cord was tied to the rod, there is NO way enough contact was made to make those abrasion marks. Nice try, this was the only place “deep grooves” was mentioned!
Next page of his report…
”Based upon my review of the case, my findings are as follows:
Pierce suffered from mental health issues and substance abuse for a number of years.
Pierce was involved in a troubled and abusive relationship.
Piece was reportedly trying to leave the relationship, but felt she had nowhere else to go.
Pierce expressed some level of desperation in that she believed she had to be out of the house that evening
Problems with ‘Prior History’ section: First thing he states she suffered from mental health issues; she was involved in a troubled and abusive relationship and was ‘reportedly’ trying to leave the relationship, but felt she had nowhere to go—SHE HAD SOMEWHERE TO GO! She needed one more night so she could get her paycheck the next day and that’s where the conversation was left at with her friend Amber at 5:20 pm that day. Amber was expecting a return phone call that night letting her know if she could stay that night or had to leave. That plan was in motion 4-5 hours before. There is a witness to that conversation and the detective was aware of it. And, her expressing some level of desperation that she had to be out of the house….so she was so desperate that she walked across the street at 5:20pm after making arrangements with her friend to move out, to wait for Brayan to arrive home to ask permission to sleep one more night in the house she paid rent on, and decided, screw it, I’ll just take my life…MAKES NO SENSE! Again, she was scared for her life—no phone, no car, no money because he stole it the day before, no place to live….she was not hopeless!
Evidence at the scene:
Evidence at the scene indicated Pierce may have been intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Pierce’s injuries were consistent with being hung by a thin ligature around her neck.
The iron cord collected at the scene is consistent with Pierce’s injuries.
The photos depict injuries consistent with her reported body position.
There were no other visible injuries or signs of a struggle.
Evidence shows that blood alcohol level was 384. That’s .384! 0.40 is usually death level. With a 0.384 level is most likely she was severely impaired, poor or if any fine and gross motor skill, or unconscious. Her injuries were consistent with thin ligature—does that cause ‘deep grooves’ as he claimed earlier in his report? An iron cord in my opinion is not ‘thin’. The reported body position was by the man we suspect may have done this to her. No other visible injuries—if someone squeezes the breath out of you and your blood alcohol level is 384, don’t think there would be much of a struggle.
I will continue Part 2 of the department’s conclusion on the next post.
Thank you for reading, liking, commenting, and sharing Amanda’s story of injustice!