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Autopsy withheld on Carina Saunders, whose body was found in a duffel bag

The Oklahoma medical examiner says he will not release the autopsy report on a woman whose dismembered body was found in a duffel bag in Bethany.

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: March 1, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's chief medical examiner said Thursday that he will not release the autopsy report on a woman whose dismembered body was found in a duffel bag in Bethany.

“He just said he is not releasing it,” spokeswoman Amy Elliot said about Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Eric Pfeifer's decision to withhold the report on the body of Carina Saunders.

The office earlier had released a statement saying that Saunders, 19, was a homicide victim and that she died a “violent death.” Bethany police have said Saunders was killed by a group involved in human trafficking for prostitution and in drugs.

One man has been arrested in connection with Saunders' death but has not been charged. He remains in the Oklahoma County jail on drug charges.

Neither Oklahoma County assistant District Attorney Scott Rowland nor Bethany Police Chief Phil Cole immediately returned phone calls seeking comment.

Saunders' dismembered body was found in a duffel bag behind a grocery store on Oct. 13 in the Oklahoma City suburb.

Cole has said a 20-year-old woman came to police after seeing Saunders' face on news reports about the slaying and said she had been kidnapped and forced to watch as Saunders was tortured and killed.

The woman, whose name has not been released, said she was told to tell her friends “this is what happens to people who don't cooperate,” according to an affidavit filed in the case.

Cole has said the kidnapping and the killing were meant to send a message that the 20-year-old and her friends faced the same fate unless they cooperated with the human trafficking ring focused on prostitution and a related drug ring.

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