Oklahoma City pastor's autopsy shows neck wounds were fatal

JOHNNY JOHNSON Published: August 29, 2009
ANADARKO — "Brutal and severe” injuries to the neck are what killed the Rev. Carol Daniels, a renowned forensic scientist who reviewed preliminary autopsy reports said Friday.

Multiple other wounds, including mutilation of her left breast, most likely were inflicted postmortem, said Brent Turvey, a private forensic scientist and criminal profiler, and an adjunct professor with Oklahoma City University.

Daniels, the pastor of Christ Holy Sanctified Church in Anadarko, was found dead inside the church shortly before service time Sunday. Authorities said she died of multiple sharp-force injuries.

Neither the state medical examiner’s office nor the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation would comment on the reports obtained by The Oklahoman through an open records request.

Turvey said he doesn’t think the killing was a ritualistic sacrifice by a serial killer.

"I believe there is no motive other than it appears to be an anger-oriented sexual homicide,” Turvey said after reviewing the reports.

"Her hair was burned, and she was found behind the church altar,” he said.

The autopsy diagrams show what appear to be defensive injuries to Daniels’ hands, which Turvey said indicates she was possibly "fending off a knife,” and fighting her attacker.

The medical examiner’s report depicted massive gashes encircling her neck with other major wounds around her left breast area.

Likely a knife attack
Dr. William Manion, a forensic pathologist and deputy medical examiner in Burlington County, N.J., told The Associated Press on Friday that the medical examiner’s report shows Daniels likely was attacked with a knife and died quickly after her throat was slashed.

"The most fatal injuries are those around her neck,” Manion said. "I would say, based on the fact that both sides of the neck have major wounds associated with them, that she would be nearly decapitated.


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