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Published: Thursday, 5/23/2013

Second autopsy performed on Jacob Limberios but death investigation continues

Jake Limberios Jake Limberios

A second autopsy on the body of Jacob Limberios, a Castalia teenager who died last year of a gunshot wound to the head, substantiates an initial suicide ruling though the death investigation is ongoing.

Dr. Cynthia Beisser, a deputy coroner with the Lucas County coroner’s office, performed a second autopsy after a forensic pathologist hired by Mr. Limberios’ family said an autopsy he conducted, the first to be performed, revealed the 19-year-old’s death was a homicide.

Sandusky County Coroner John Wukie ruled the March, 2012, shooting death a suicide, but the death is now under investigation.

In a Wednesday letter to Dr. Wukie, Dr. Beisser stated her “autopsy findings are not inconsistent with the original ruling of suicide.”

She also stated the manner of death “is not determined at the autopsy table, but by investigation of the scene and putting together all of the available information concerning the death.”

She said she could not "definitively identify gunpowder residue" or determine the range of fire because of post mortem changes, alterations made during the previous autopsy and by the funeral director.

Dean Henry, the special prosecutor in the criminal investigation who also represents Dr. Wukie in a lawsuit filed by the Limberios family challenging the manner of the death, said Dr. Beisser’s report contradicted that of the family’s forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht of Pittsburgh in a significant way.

Dr. Beisser’s examination concluded the shot was fired from right to left. Dr. Wecht determined the entrance wound is on the left side and the exit wound on the right side.

“That’s pretty huge because it directly contradicts Dr. Wecht’s,” said Mr. Henry.

Mr. Henry said he’s waiting on test results from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Once those are complete, he will meet with investigators and coroners on how to proceed with the investigation.

Dr. Beisser did not examine some tissue removed by Dr. Wecht, which she stated did “not allow for optimum examination of the wounds.”

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