Lynn DeJac spent 13 years in a New York prison for her alleged involvement in the death of her teenage daughter in 1993. She was released late last year after DNA tests on evidence from the victim’s body implicated another person in the murder. Yesterday, however, the case took another turn, as the Buffalo District Attorney said he intended to drop all pending charges against DeJac based on evidence that the girl died of a cocaine overdose, and “no other competing cause of death.”
After the conviction was reversed, a further review of the autopsy and toxicology reports led to the determination of cocaine poisoning.
“There was sufficient cocaine in her blood to cause death and no other competing cause of death,” said Dr. Michael M. Baden, a former chief medical examiner for New York City, who helped Dr. James J. Woytash, the current Erie County medical examiner, re-examine autopsy and toxicological reports, as well as other evidence. Dr. Baden said that the ruling of death by strangulation arrived at by the medical examiner, Dr. Sung-ook Baik, was made even though there were no typical signs like bruising of the neck or damage to the windpipe.
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. (New York Times, 2/14/08)