(cont'd from above)
The source at the Police Department says the autopsy reveals how Hamilton suffered a crushed larynx, which is consistent with strangulation. The Coroner’s Office also found bruise marks on the neck consistent with a garrote or some kind of rope.
Asked to comment, the coroner’s office declined, saying the case was still under investigation.
Hamilton received burns over half of her body, according to the source, but the region around her neck received only minor burns, leaving behind evidence of the strangulation.
When asked how an autopsy report makes a determination that a victim died of strangulation, Dr. Ronald Carlson, a doctor in Metrocity Hospital’s trauma ward, explained that “there are a number of signs of manual strangulation, including abrasions, finger-tip bruises, and scratches, blueness of the tongue from sustained pressure, and damage to the larynx.”
Speaking in hypothetical terms, Carlson explained, “A crushed larynx would mean that the person would have trouble breathing and likely die from asphyxia. With the heavy smoke emitted from this fire, it is probably a person with a crushed larynx would not survive for very long, if the person was alive at the time of the fire.”
The time of death is still being determined, but it appears to have happened prior to the fire.
The police still will not confirm where the body was found in the printing facility. However, one source close to the criminal investigation said the evidence points to Hamilton being the victim of an assault.
“This is all speculation, of course,” said Roger Hart, a private investigator in Metrocity asked to offer a hypothesis about the crime, “but it seems plausible that Eliza Hamilton died before the fire started.” Hart’s expertise is often called upon by insurance companies investigating fire losses. “If she was killed prior to the fire, the suspect may have placed her there to try to cover his or her tracks.”
Hamilton had been missing for several days prior to her apparent murder.
After she went missing, her son Edward said Ms. Hamilton had a strained relationship with her ex-husband, Thomas Hamilton. Currently, the district court has issued a bench warrant for Thomas Hamilton for failure to comply with his divorce settlement.
Sources within the police department say Thomas Hamilton is a “person of interest” in the death of his ex-wife, something Metrocity police will neither confirm nor deny.
Metrocity Police have confirmed that the cause of Eliza Hamilton’s death was strangulation, not the result of burns received from the fire that laid waste to The Metrocity Times printing facility.
Hamilton’s body was found at the scene of the fire.
Earlier reports indicated that Hamilton had died as a result of asphyxiation and burns. However, according to an anonymous source within the police forensics unit, the autopsy indicates that Hamilton received fatal injuries prior to the fire.