Entries in Autopsy (9)


Adopted Russian Boy's Death Ruled Accidental in Texas

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The death of an adopted 3-year-old Russian boy has been ruled an accident in Texas.  This just a week after Russian officials accused the boy's adopted parents of killing the child.

Authorities said Friday that Max Shatto, who had been adopted by Laura and Alan Shatto in November, died of a self-inflicted wound on Jan. 21.

An investigation into the boy's death was opened after he was rushed to Medical Center Hospital's emergency room shortly before 5 p.m. on Jan. 21 and later died.

Friday's announcement contradicted a top Russian official who accused the boy's mother of murder last week.

Pavel Astakhov, Russia's children's rights commissioner, wrote on Twitter last week: "An adoptive mother has killed a three-year-old Russian child in the state of Texas. The murder occurred at the end of January."

"The boy died before an ambulance called by his mother arrived. According to a report by medical examiners, the boy had numerous injuries," he added.

The tweets were later deleted, but Astakhov continued to blame the boy's adoptive parents for his death. On Thursday, he said he was told by a Texas social worker that the mother was responsible for the boy's death.

Texas officials denied those claims and the Shattos denied any role in their son's death, but declined to comment further about the issue.

Friday, the Ector County district attorney and sheriff's department announced the findings of Max Shatto's autopsy report, which showed that he died from a lacerated artery in his abdomen from self-inflicted bruising, and that the boy had a mental disorder that caused him to harm himself.

No drugs were found in the child's system, and four doctors reviewed the autopsy report, ruling out the possibility that Shatto was fatally injured by his parents, officials said at the press conference.

The ruling could put to rest the outrage in Russia over what officials there called another example of why U.S. parents should not adopt Russian children. Astakhov's accusation of murder provided fuel for those in Russia who supported Russia's decision to ban adoptions to the U.S.

The ban was part of Russia's response to a set of human rights sanctions that President Obama signed into law in December, but it cited the cases of 19 children who had died after being adopted by Americans.

After the accusations surfaced in Russia, Max's death became the top story in Russia. The boy's birth mother emerged and, in a tearful appearance on state-run television, said she had cleaned up her act and wanted Max's younger brother Kristopher back. On her way back from the interview in Moscow, however, the mother was reportedly kicked off a train after a drunken brawl.

On Saturday, thousands are expected to turn out for a rally in central Moscow calling for Kristopher to be returned to Russia.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Christopher Dorner Autopsy: Cause of Death Was Single Gunshot to Head

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer who went on a killing rampage appeared to have killed himself, authorities said.

The autopsy showed that Dorner's cause of death was a single gunshot to the head.

"The information that we have right now seems to indicate that the wound that took Dorner's life was self inflicted," said Capt. Kevin Lacy of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in a press conference Friday.

Dorner, 33, was found dead after a standoff with police. The cabin where Dorner barricaded himself in went up in flames on Feb. 12.

Authorities said police made "numerous PA announcements identifying [Dorner] by name, asking him to surrender," before firing pyrotechnic tear gas inside the cabin Dorner had holed up in, causing the building to go up in flames.

"We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters on Feb. 13.

Dorner's charred remains were found inside the cabin. His body was positively identified during the autopsy through dental examination, the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner's Office said in a written statement.

Authorities said that Dorner had been hiding out in an unoccupied cabin in Big Bear, Calif., for most of the manhunt, in close proximity to where they had set up command center in the area.

Karen and Jim Reynolds said they found Dorner in their cabin on Feb. 12. They said he may have been hiding out there since Feb. 8.

"He said four or five times that he didn't have a problem with us, he just wanted to clear his name," Jim Reynolds said. "He said, 'I don't have a problem with you, so I'm not going to hurt you.'"

Dorner tied the couple up, and put pillowcases over their heads before driving off in their purple Nissan. They managed to untie themselves once Dorner drove off and call the police, triggering the standoff at another cabin in the area that led to the building going up in flames.

Dorner outlined his anger at the Los Angeles Police Department for firing him in his 6,000 word "manifesto," and made threats against individuals he believed were responsible for ending his career with the police force five years ago.

Dorner is suspected of killing Monica Quan and her fiancé, who were found shot to death in a car in their apartment complex on Feb. 3. Quan was the daughter of former LAPD Capt. Randal Quan, who Dorner had targeted in his "manifesto."

Dorner is also suspected of killing Riverside, Calif., Police Officer Michael Crain.

San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy Jeremiah MacKay, 35, a 15-year veteran and the father of two children, was killed in the Feb. 12 standoff.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Rodney King's Drowning Death Ruled Accidental

Jerod Harris/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Rodney King's death last June has been ruled an accidental drowning.

King, the man whose brutal videotaped beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 touched off one of the worst race riots in U.S. history a year later, was found by his fiancee in a pool at the suburban L.A. home they shared.

At the time of his death, King was engaged to be married to Cynthia Kelly, one of the jurors from his civil trial.  Los Angeles Police said that Kelly tried to save King but he had passed away by the time she tried administering CPR.

It also appears that King's longtime problems with drugs and alcohol may have contributed to his death. The medical examiner said PCP, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol were all found in his body.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Swimmer Dies During New York-New Jersey Ironman Competition

iStockphoto/Thinkstock (file photo)(NEW YORK) -- An autopsy is being performed on a 43-year-old man who died Saturday during the swimming portion of the first Ironman U.S. Championship triathlon in New York and New Jersey, which drew 2,500 competitors.

The unidentified man was in the midst of swimming the 2.4-mile first leg of the competition across the Hudson River when he experienced "distress."

After the man was pulled from the water, emergency workers performed CPR, to no avail.

World Triathlon Corp., which owns Ironman, said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of an athlete at today’s Ironman U.S. Championship."

An autopsy is expected to reveal the exact cause of death.

Following the swim, the participants biked for 112 miles and then ran a marathon.  Saturday's winner on the men's side was American Jordan Rapp, who finished in eight hours, 11 minutes, 17 seconds, while Mary Beth Ellis of Delaware was the women's champ in nine hours, seven minutes, 46 seconds.

Deaths have been on the rise in Ironman competitions in recent years.  Two people died last year while swimming in the Nautica New York City Triathlon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Miami Face-Eating Attacker Had No Human Flesh in Stomach

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- The Miami man whose vicious face-eating attack left his victim with his eyes, nose and mouth chewed off may not have been a cannibal after all.

An autopsy of Rudy Eugene's body found there was no human flesh in his stomach, just a few undigested pills, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The pills have not been identified and it will take weeks to complete toxicology tests on them, the newspaper reported.

Eugene, who authorities suspect may have been high on a dangerous new street drug known as "bath salts," was naked and had to be shot four times by a police officer to halt the attack.

"He's beating another man. It's a naked man beating another man," one 911 caller said. "He is going to kill that man. I promise you."

The grisly assault on Ronald Poppo, a homeless man, lasted for 18 agonizing minutes and was captured on nearby surveillance cameras.

Poppo, 65, is in critical condition after police say 75 percent of his face was devoured by Eugene.

Footage taken by security cameras at the nearby Miami Herald building shows most of the 18 gory minutes of Eugene's growling and vicious attack on Poppo, when Eugene chewed off the man's nose, mouth and eyes.

The bizarre attack was one of the first in a string of unrelated cannibalistic incidents that has been dubbed the "zombie apocalypse."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Trayvon Martin Had Drugs in System, Autopsy Found

Trayvon Martin, 17, was fatally shot by neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman. (ABC News)(SANFORD, Fla.) -- Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer, had the drug THC in his system the night of his death, according to new information obtained by ABC News.

The revelation came as prosecutors in the case prepared to release to the public hundreds of pages of new evidence along with videos and crime scene photos.

Martin's death sparked public outrage after police released Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, without any criminal charges for the killing.

Zimmerman, 28, a multi-racial Hispanic man who shot the black high school junior at close range on Feb. 26, claimed self-defense, though Martin was unarmed. Zimmerman was later charged with second-degree murder, and the killing provoked widespread debate about racial profiling.

The autopsy report shows traces of the drug THC, which is found in marijuana, in Martin's blood and urine.

The autopsy also shows that Zimmerman shot Martin from a distance of between one inch and 18 inches away, bolstering Zimmerman's claim that he shot Martin during a struggle that landed Zimmerman on his back, Martin straddling him and banging Zimmerman's head on the ground.

Martin's autopsy report also revealed that there was a quarter-inch by half-inch abrasion on the left fourth finger of Martin, another indication of a possible struggle. The teen, who lived in Miami, was in Sanford while serving a suspension for a bag of marijuana being discovered in his possession.

Later Thursday, a trove of documents that are part of the discovery in Zimmerman's trial are expected to be released on a website run by the state's attorney, including 67 CDs' worth of documents, video of Martin on the night of the shooting, his autopsy report and videos of Zimmerman's questioning by police.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Vermont Teacher Melissa Jenkins Was Murdered, Autopsy Concludes

Panoramic Images/Getty(ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt.) -- Vermont teacher Melissa Jenkins was murdered, an autopsy concluded Tuesday, but police declined to disclose the cause of death.

The body of Jenkins, 33, who was a teacher from St. Johnsbury, Vt., was found on a dark Vermont road Sunday night. Her SUV was found running with her 2-year-old son Tie inside.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ms. Jenkins, and our thoughts are with her family and friends," the lead investigator, State Police Maj. Ed Ledo, said in a statement. "We remain committed to solving this case and to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for the death of Ms. Jenkins."

Residents of the town of fewer than 8,000 people, which sits roughly 40 miles from the Canadian border, were stunned after her disappearance and the discovery of the body.

Jenkins' uncle, Marty Beattie, told ABC News the toddler is being cared for by the slain woman's parents while they work out a plan with the child's father, B.J. Robertson.

Robertson said the child has been unable to express what happened to his mother.

For now, he told ABC News he has "just been loving him when I am with him."

Beattie said he believes police have accumulated enough evidence to result in an arrest in the near future.

"She put herself in a bad situation. Wrong place, wrong time," he said.

Police warned the tight-knit town to remain vigilant, fearing the killer could strike again.

"I cannot disclose the details of how the body was found or the condition of the body, but this death is considered suspicious," Det. Sgt. Walter Smith said Monday. "We don't know if it's an isolated incident. We expect the public to use all diligence and vigilance while out and about."

More than 100 friends and family members braved frigid winds at a candlelight service Monday for the teacher, who taught science at St. Johnsbury Academy, a boarding school of about 970 students. The single mother, who was also working on her master's degree, had a knack for teaching young people, according to St. Johnsbury headmaster Tom Lovett.

Jenkins was also a freshmen basketball coach and a dorm proctor until the birth of her son. She also worked a second job, moonlighting part-time as a waitress at the Creamery Restaurant in Danville, Vt.

Jenkins' vehicle was recovered Sunday evening near signs of a struggle after a friend who had been looking for the mother contacted the police. The body that is believed to be her was found in the nearby town of Barnet, Vt. Police say Jenkins had no restraining orders out on anyone.

Family members believe Jenkins left home to help someone with car trouble, but exactly whom she planned to meet is a mystery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Autopsy on Whitney Houston's Body Completed

Kevin Mazur/AMA2009/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- An autopsy was completed Sunday on the body of legendary singer Whitney Houston, who was found dead in the bathtub of her hotel room the day before.  But it will be some time before we learn the cause of her death.

"There will be no cause of death at this time because it is pending toxicology and that could take up to six to eight weeks," said Ed Winter with the Los Angeles County Coroner's office

Despite reports hinting at how Houston may have died, Winter did not offer any speculatations.

"I know there's reports that she maybe was drowned or did she overdose, but no we won't make a final determination until all the tests are in," he said.

TMZ reported earlier that Houston's aides found her in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton Hotel room with her face underwater and attempted CPR before calling hotel security.  Meanwhile, ABC News affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles reported that prescription pill bottles were discovered in the singer's room.

"What and if any prescription drugs or illegal drugs would be found in her system, so that's what we'll be looking for also," Winter said, referring to the toxicology tests.

He did note, however, that there were no visible signs of trauma and foul play is not suspected in her death.´╗┐

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


North Carolina Student Phylicia Barnes Was Murdered, Say Police

Comstock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- Phylicia Barnes, the student from North Carolina who went missing in Maryland last December, was a victim of murder, according to the first autopsy results released by Maryland State Police.

An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Maryland determined her death to be a homicide. Police say they know the cause of death, but they are not releasing the information for now because it is an ongoing investigation.

"To release a cause of death at this time could jeopardize the investigation by revealing information known only to the person or persons responsible for her death," Maryland State Police said in a statement. "The cause of death will be made public at an appropriate time in the future."

Greg Shipley, spokesman for the Maryland State Police, told ABC News there are no suspects in the case, and the investigation is continuing.

"If they get some suspects, they want to be able to talk to them about this, and say it hasn't been covered by the media so only they would know the details," Shipley said.

The 16-year-old honor student's body was released to her family Wednesday. They have scheduled private funeral services for Saturday in Conyers, Georgia.

"Phylicia's family wishes to thank her school family, law enforcement and the thousands of people that have expressed sympathies following her untimely demise," Barnes' immediate family said in a statement. "They would also ask that we continue to pray and search for the scores of other citizens who continue to be classified as 'missing.'"

Barnes went missing in the Baltimore area while visiting her sister from Monroe, North Carolina in late December. Her naked body was discovered in the Susquehanna River, nearly 35 miles from Baltimore, in late April.

The body of Darryl Harper, 53, of Richmond, Va., was discovered in the same river several hours after the discovery of Barnes' body. Police believe there is no connection between the two.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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