Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Autopsy

Wonders never cease.

I have made nice with Karen Emery, wife of the Ashland County Coroner. I stopped by her office this week to view the complete report on Amy's autopsy and we had a very civil conversation. I'm not expecting a Christmas card, but I think her heart is in the right place. Both of us want to see this case solved. But we're coming at it from opposite ends of the spectrum. Media v. Official, if you will. No hard feelings, I hope.

I said before that I was going to wait until the anniversary of the abduction to talk about the details included in the report. But a couple things changed in the meantime. The first, was that Fox 8 reported on the autopsy in a very interesting news segment. But more important, is the fact that there is so much inaccurate information being bandied about on other blogs about what the report MIGHT contain. So, to clear up those inaccuracies and to get everyone else on the same page, here are the details I've discovered:

-Amy was not murdered in that field.
-Amy's body was most likely placed in that field on County Road 1181 a short time after she was abducted. A day? A week? We don't know. But there were seedlings growing out of her clothes, which implies the body was probably there most of the time we were looking for her. However, the jogger who discovered her body is adamant that it was not there the day before. Science says otherwise. But then why didn't the jogger or anyone else come across it? I don't know.
-The red spot on her underwear that was mentioned on the Fox 8 report was blood. Most likely Amy's.
-Contrary to statements by the retired FBI spokesman, Amy did not have spaghetti for lunch that day. The menu at school offered corn dogs and pizza. This slip-up was unintentional, I'm sure.
-The material in her stomach has never been completely identified. Looks like meat protein of some kind (not necessarily vegetarian) and cheese.
-Material that may contain the killer's DNA was collected at the scene.
-The report by Fox 8 that said no sperm was found referenced a 1989 report that used 1989 technology. Material was collected that may contain the killer's sperm. Using better technology, sperm may have been isolated already or will be in the future.
-Amy's fingernails were broken. Further analysis was handled by the FBI and is not available. It appears she may have injured her nails while fighting back against her attacker.
-Over the years, various law enforcement agencies have sent forensic material to the coroner so that it could be compared against the evidence gathered in this case, to exclude certain suspects.
-There were no satanic, religious, or cult markings found on her body.
-A covering of some sort was found near the body. It may have covered Amy's body (hiding it from the jogger, perhaps) and blown off before the body was found. I'm not going to go into detail about it, so please don't ask. It may be an important clue or it might not. But it is unique.
-I have no interest in publishing pictures other than those that show Amy alive and smiling and enjoying life. I sincerely hope journalists who gain access to the report in the future will do likewise. This report should be treated with the utmost care and respect.

That's basically it. Like I said, more questions than answers for the most part. But I think we can take hope in the fact that so much evidence was gathered from the scene.

I'm more confident than ever that this case will be solved. The killer made mistakes. And he should be very worried.
-James Renner

New Article on Amanda Berry/Gina DeJesus

16 year-old Amanda Berry disappeared from Cleveland's West Side on April 21, 2003. Gina DeJesus, 14, disappeared near the location where Amanda was last seen, almost a year later. Clevelanders have wondered ever since if the two unsolved cases are connected. I've just spent the last month researching their stories. The result is the cover article in this week's Free Times.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Fox 8 I-Team Report

Here's the link for those who missed the news last night.

Fox 8 I-Team reporter Bill Sheil does a great job summing up the status of the investigation at this point. Four girls who received phone calls like Amy did in the week's leading up to her abduction were interviewed. There are a couple things that seem to link them together, including people connected to Holly Hill horse stables and the fact that they all played in a traveling soccer league.

Sheil also revealed some information about the autopsy report, including the fact that Amy's fingernails appear to have been damaged in a struggle.

Bay Village police are still waiting for that last suspect to submit DNA like they promised. Anyone know who that might be?

Hopefully the segment provides some fresh clues for investigators.
-James Renner