Autopsy Report - UCF Osteological Analysis-Duct Tape Info#2

Discussion in 'Caylee Anthony 2 years old' started by ShadowGal, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. ShadowGal

    ShadowGal One Mad Taxpayer

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  3. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    This thread is to discuss the contents of the Autopsy Report - UCF Osteological Analysis Duct Tape Info.





    [ame=http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85495]Thread #1[/ame]


    Please stay on topic as much as you can. if someone else goes OT, scroll past and ignore. That's it!
     
  4. seagull65

    seagull65 New Member

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    I'm still not sure whether the medical examiners/anthropologists meant that the nose was originally covered by the tape (pictures might make this clear during the trial). The prosecution seemed adamant about this in one of the hearings so maybe that is the case. Or maybe the reports only meant that that was the final position of the tape after loss of soft tissue/teeth etc.
    Because it seems like tape that was originally covering the mouth/lips might conceivably cover both the mouth and nose aperture after skeletonization, especially on such a small face. The lips are right below the nose aperture, so if just her mouth was taped you would expect the tape would probably be right at the bottom edge of the nose aperture to begin with (without covering the nostrils), and that's even with the teeth present (and jaws slightly open which is the normal position), I believe. If she was struggling, I would expect her mouth might have been open more than usual because she might be attempting to scream, and after all that could have been the main reason for the taping in the first place. After death when the soft tissues disappear, teeth fall out, the jaws will come closer together or even make contact, and the tape could cover the nose aperture. I'm just guessing here as a non-expert. Not that I rule out the nose being taped also, of course. The duct tape on the mouth did always seem to me to most likely be part of a violent assault, so not a stretch to imagine this kind of perp also causing suffocation by covering the nose, imo.
    There's the mention again of the upper left lateral incisor not being recovered. At least I assume that's what was meant by "only one tooth was lost postmortem". (In earlier docs I think I remember us reading, and discussing, how most of the teeth were detached/found in the soil under the skull and one stuck inside the skull IIRC, with only that one unaccounted for.) I'm still interested in the missing tooth. Thanks for the thread
     
  5. seagull65

    seagull65 New Member

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    it's interesting how this report noted the duct tape was covering the mouth and nasal aperture at that point, but I don't remember any of the earlier crime scene reports mentioning that it was covering the nasal aperture, only the mouth area. Maybe there had been a little shifting by the time it reached the ME's office? It seems like it would be almost impossible to prevent a certain amount of movement of the mandible and the tape when picking up the skull/mandible and during transport. But I'm only guessing. That was why I was so surprised when Mr. Ashton said so vehemently in that one hearing that Caylee had had her mouth and nose taped over, because the crime scene reports had only mentioned tape over the mouth as far as I could remember. (At least the ones that we had seen.)
     
  6. LambChop

    LambChop Former Member

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    I would think the ME would take into account the pictures which were taken at the remains site. Duct tape anchored at the jaw portion of the skull is unlikely to do any shifting if it head that jaw bone in place. The ME is responsible for determining cause of death which would include all evidence which would lead to that conclusion. Mr. Ashton said it because all evidence points to it being so. And from KC reaction...it hit a nerve, a big one. jmo
     
  7. quadlatte

    quadlatte Member

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    I've always wondered about Caylee's hyoid bone...

    It was one of the few not recovered, and it could be telling even though at her age, it was probably not completely ossified (and still flexible to an extent).

    One could imagine that in a rage, KC strangled Caylee or had her hands around her neck (perhaps Caylee was crying for CA?) before finishing the job with the duct tape...:furious:

    I just wish the hyoid had been found (and intact), because I'm pretty sure that would at least rule out manual strangulation by her killer...:waitasec:
     
  8. joypath

    joypath Active Member

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    "
    I just wish the hyoid had been found (and intact), because I'm pretty sure that would at least rule out manual strangulation by her killer...:waitasec:

    BUT NOT EXACTLY TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:angel:

    Well worth re-quoting as this tidbit isn't a hard and fast "rule" of forensic pathology! :snooty:


    :woohoo:The good ole hyoid bone is a treasure trove of information in the adult population regarding strangulation by ligature or manual but in children, less "gold standard" due to bone ossification levels. Easily put, the adult bone is brittle and breaks easier than the child's, but both would suffer asphyxia if/when the hyoid obstructed the trachea by dislocation.:woohoo:

    SO....ruling out manual strangulation is done by layer by layer dissection of the decedent's neck. :twocents:

    Point of fact: actual hand bruising, "grab marks" and ligature marks have appeared on the body within 6-8 hours, adding more information to a case!
     
  9. notthatsmart

    notthatsmart Former Member

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    Susan Mears put the skull in the paper bag. She said the tape was on the lower area of the skull over the mouth. I find it hard to believe this tape was tight. I would think that it would be loose and floppy after all flesh has decomposed. Perhaps she bumped the bag with the tape part and the tape moved up. Crime scene photos should tell the story. Also, the bags were seperate at the crime scene and then tangled by the time they reached the ME office. I really wish I could see these crime scene photos. I do not think it is fair for the ME to determine cause of death if things were manipulated or changed by the time she examined.

    There are missing reports in my opinion. Steve Hanson collected the body, tied back vines and moved the log, and there is no report from him. Dr Utz and Dr Schultz gave a report from the ME office but no report from the Crime scene. What about CSI Bloise, he was there before Yuri and John, where is his report? Steve Hanson is a key person and so is CSI Bloise, however I still think J Allen should have filled out a report. I do not know what the protocol is, but I think the key witnesses should fill out reports.

    The picture of the tape is in an X shape fashion. I can not make any sense out of that. LKB said they are going to dispute the location of the duct tape. It was said on cbs 48 hours.
     
  10. okiedokietoo

    okiedokietoo New Member

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    I totally agree with you. Photos were taken at the crime scene prior to the skull being moved, that's a given. The ME based her findings starting with the evidence at the crime scene and the autopsy.
    If anything shifted during transportation to ME Office, she would have the photos. In other words, there are photos.
     
  11. logicalgirl

    logicalgirl Peace Hawk

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    Do you not think they took a gazillion crime scene photos before they even moved the skull from every possible angle? Before they moved the skull? There will be no doubt what the placement of the tape was.

    If the ME says the tape was over the nose and mouth - it was. Period. Full Stop.
     
  12. Swancat63

    Swancat63 New Member

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    Ok. Last time I ever play this "game" with my little Angel. I measured from the bridge of her nose to her mouth. It was 1 1/2 inches. From her mouth to her chin was 1 1/2 inches. As I stated before, she is three. Middle of the bridge of her nose to middle of mouth to bottom of chin, across her face is a total of 3 inches. Duct tape is a standard of 2 inches width. This is such a horrible thought. I lost my breath... So for what it's worth, for reference only. I've got to do LOTS of hugging to do now.
     
  13. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

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    TY so Much Swancat!!!! BTW, your little one probably endured no negativity from this encounter, just sweet touches and eye contact from one she loves dearly (I would imagine). This information is a piece I have been missing and had no access to a 3 yr old who wouldn't feel invaded by a stranger. Not that I would measure some poor child's face for my own agenda, but I have thought of calling friends/family w/similar age children and asking a really strange request. TY, TY, TY! (I am bending at the waist saying "Alla, Alla, Alla"). You ROCK!:woohoo:
     
  14. quadlatte

    quadlatte Member

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    Thank you for your expertise!!! I am by no means an expert, just going off what I remember from anatomy and physiology in college...

    I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't positing that the hyoid bone would be some "magic bullet" that would prove/disprove anything. I should have chosen my wording more carefully.

    I realize that with the ossification factor that the examination of the hyoid could not be a "gold standard" for evaluation of youth strangulation. Thank you for making that more clear.

    I guess the observation I was trying to make was less scientific and more speculative - hardly "gold standard" and certainly troublesome to prove, but my logic went something like this:

    1) Hyoid is not found. (many reasons, very small bone, not completely ossified and could have been dispersed naturally, or possibly removed?)

    2) Hyoid is found intact. Ossification may not be complete, but tendon/ligament strong enough to hold it together. In this case, I speculated that manual strangulation would show up as some form of trauma (stretching, torsion, fissures?) to the tendon/ligament/ossification area. This is purely speculative, but as pliable as children are, homicide by strangulation would require great force, and therefore one could imagine the hyoid would bear some indication of that damage.:waitasec:

    3. Partial hyoid is found. Either naturally dissociated due to lack of complete ossification, OR hyoid was damaged during manual strangulation and was no longer intact.

    I'm sure I haven't covered all of the possibilities, but...

    the above is what I was thinking when I posted that finding an intact hyoid would be a small comfort, as I was speculating that the force required to manually strangle a 3 year old child would be enough to leave lasting damage/evidence to the bone, and if we had an intact hyoid, I could hold out the somewhat more humane hope that her killer put her to sleep (chloroform, xanax) before the duct tape application...:furious:

    Hope that makes any sense...
     
  15. Just Jayla

    Just Jayla New Member

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    In reading this current discussion, I am wondering: Just a small thing, but when there is no outer nose left on the skull, the actual nasal cavity that is exposed could be a bit lower than where nostrils would be situated-Younger children still have the effect of the outer nose being slightly upturned, evolution provided that for breast feeding, so perhaps Caylee's nostrils were not covered but it appeared that way because the nasal cavity was slightly covered.
    However, if the defense were to use the nose vs. mouth & nose as their strategy it would be a losing case, because they would be admitting their client knew the difference....the defense will say the tape was either not put there by KC, or it was not on Caylee's skull at all-or both.

    ETA-Fixed my type-o's :blush:
     
  16. Swancat63

    Swancat63 New Member

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    When I did the measurements on my 3 year old daughter, I too thought about the "no skin, no tissue" thing too. So today I measured how much her nose protudes from her face, at the longest part above her lips. So just for reference, her nose is just shy of 3/4 inch. from the base by her nostrils to the tip. I'm sure by now she thinks I have lost my mind....

    Just so you know, she is 35 inches tall and weighs 33 pounds. Her birth mother was only 5 feet tall and weighed 98 pounds before she became pregnant. Somewhere around Casey's size....
     
  17. KeyboardCat

    KeyboardCat New Member

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    I am aware the defense has already stated they plan to dispute the location of that duct tape on Caylee. My question is this: Why does the defense team care about where that duct tape was, if they are prepared to argue that someone other than Casey Anthony put it there?

    Edit:
    I took a break and may have thought of an answer to my own question. I think they will dispute it simply because that duct tape could itself be the cause of death. But unless Casey is willing to admit trying to stage a kidnapping after an accident, it still makes no sense for her defense team to dispute the placing of that duct tape at all.
     
  18. seagull65

    seagull65 New Member

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    It was my understanding from the documents that the tape's being stuck on the hair at the sides and across the mouth area was what held the jaw in place initially until the hair mat formed beneath and around the jaw helping to further hold it in position...? Obviously at the time the skull was collected, the hair that the tape was stuck to was no longer attached to a scalp, I would think the only reason the mandible and skull would stay together at all at that point would be due to the ME on scene deliberately holding them together, I would expect there could easily be a certain amount of shift during collection and transport even if they tried to pack them so as to minimize movement. The tape isn't stuck to the skull obviously, it was stuck to soft tissue that's now gone and to hair that's now detached.

    I would have expected the MEs writing this report were only noting their own observations of the condition of the evidence when it arrived in their office, and that's what the report sounds like. Did they say they were also examining crime scene photographs? Maybe I missed that.

    If the ME had thought the tape had originally been placed over both nose and mouth, why wouldn't they have specified suffocation (insert medical term here, hypoxia? Anoxia? Help me medical people :)) as the cause of death, instead of saying by undetermined means?

    Wouldn't hearing someone yelling that her child had had duct tape over both her mouth and nose hit a "big nerve" with the parent of the child? Isn't it completely normal for a parent to be that horrified? Maybe she hadn't heard that before since no previous document had mentioned tape over both mouth and nose. Or, even if she'd been informed of that, that she still couldn't bear hearing it. Much less being accused of having done it.
     
  19. logicalgirl

    logicalgirl Peace Hawk

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    I don't know if you went sideways in to OT, but that is a VERY good question/comment - thanks for that.:waitasec:
     
  20. notthatsmart

    notthatsmart Former Member

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    It is my opinion that any time the defense can prove the SA wrong, they are going to do it. If they can show a mountain of wrongs by SA, they can show doubt. IMO
     
  21. logicalgirl

    logicalgirl Peace Hawk

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    I guess the issue re specified suffocation as the cause of death, the ME could only state it was placed on the face pre-decomp, which either meant to cause the death of the child, or immediately after the death of the child. As there was no available tissue or organs to examine, as to exactly the cause, the question really answers itself. No child would live through having their air ducts duct taped.
    If it was placed after death, is there any way a jury would believe it was placed for any reason that wasn't criminal? Seriously? I vote no.

    And I believe Casey "knew", as she listened to her radio and was allowed to watch TV, plus Baez apparently brought the NG show to her - that Casey knew almost immediately about news of the findings re the placement of the duct tape.
     

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