Enter Dr. Michael Baden

DeWine seeks assistance from famed New York pathologist in Jacob Limberios death investigation.
Register
Sep 11, 2013

The Ohio Attorney General's office has sought the assistance of Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner for the city of New York, to review the autopsy findings in the killing of Jacob Limberios. 

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Watch "Between the Lines Live" at noon Friday at sanduskyregister.com when the guests will be Brady Gasser, Christine Wiedle and Lonnie Seisel, who have spearheaded the "Justice for Jake & Ella" Facebook and signs campaign seeking answers and new legislation that would make autopsies mandatory in suspicious death cases.

Limberios died instantly March 2, 2012, inside a York Township home where he was with three other young adults, when he was shot in the head. Sandusky County officials almost immediately concluded his death was the result of an accidental suicide, and evidence from the crime scene was destroyed in the hours after he was killed. They closed the investigation without conducting an initial autopsy, but were forced to re-examine the death after the Limberios family filed a lawsuit seeking a competent ruling on the cause.

That subsequent local investigation was halted, however, in late May after a judge removed the Sandusky County sheriff's office and other county officials from it — citing conflicts of interest — and assigned the case to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The lead detective at that time, Sandusky County sheriff's captain Sean O'Connell, provided conflicting public statements about his investigation, initially indicating he believed one of the witnesses lied about what occurred. He later made statements that aligned with the original ruling, but never issued a report for release to the public or the family.  

Baden has consulted on numerous high-profile cases including the deaths of actor and original Saturday Night Live cast member John Belushi and original punk rocker Sid Vicious. He also was involved in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson and other celebrity death cases.

He will be the fifth doctor and the fourth forensic pathologist involved in the Limberios case. 

In Septemeber 2012, Dr. Cyril Wecht, another well-known pathologist based in Pittsburg who also has been involved in past celebrity death cases, conducted an autopsy on behalf of the Limberios family after Sandusky County coroner John Wukie refused to order an autopsy or offer any explanation about his unusual cause of death ruling. Wechrt concluded Jacob Limberios was the victim of a homicide.

Wukie did finally order an autopsy in May this year, however, which required the body to be exhumed from the Castalia Cemetery a second time. The second autopsy was conducted by Lucas County deputy coroner Cynthia Beisser, whose findings cryptically concluded Wukie's original ruling might have been correct.

Dr. Kevin Whaley, an assistant medical examiner for the state of Virginia, also reviewed Wecht's and Beisser's findings and determined Jacob likely did not shoot himself, since there was no stippling, or burn, at the entrance wound in Jacob's skull. If the gun that killed Jacob had been held by him when it was shot there would be stippling at the wound, Wecht and Whaley concluded. Beisser also found no stippling but does not appear to have thoroughly addressed the question in her autopsy report.  

DeWine assigned top prosecutors and investigators to the case and promised a "thorough investigation," but cautioned that getting the case 15 months after the death would be challenging. He also said he intended to answer all the questions raised by the Limberios family — through their attorney Dan McGookey — during their 18-month effort to "find out the truth about what happened on March 2, 2012." DeWine's office has been in contact with the Limberios family since taking the case in June, but has not provided any information otherwise about the investigation. 

Meanwhile, friends of the Limberios family created a 'Justice for Jake & Ella" Facebook campaign to support the family and have been raising funds and posting signs across the region seeking answers. 

Ella is Jacob Limberios' 4-year-old daughter. 

The "Justice for Jake & Ella" effort also seeks to convince lawmakers in Columbus to enact legislation that would make autopsies mandatory in suspicious death cases. 

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Click here to read past articles, watch news video and see photo galleries.

Click here to read more about Lucas County deputy coroner Cynthia Beisser and other articles in the Register series, "Stabbed, beaten, burnt and zapped."

Get Thursday's Register for an article about the "Justice for Jake & Ella" Facebook and signs campaign. Click here for the ePaper, for home deilvery, or buy the Register daily at a newsstand near you.

Comments

Mum-of-One

It will be interesting to see how many will be held responsible for the appalling abuse of power used to cover up the facts of this case. There must be many persons in authority involved. It is amazing to me that they all thought that this "cover up" was possible.

swiss cheese kat

Not necessarily a cover up but more like a lack of expertise and professionalism.

deertracker

Pleazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzze! Cover up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Detrain

Yes it is a cover up.great article. Will be watching friday online. Hopefully a lot will be held accountable. Justice for Jake & Ella.

dontcare

If the State uses BCI investigators, which I assume they will. I don't see how they will determine anything. They are mainly political appointees, hired for who they know and not what they know. I hope the truth comes out, however it is hard to take the reporting of the Register on this case. I hope that wasn't too "cryptic". Everything the police come up with is questioned while the ME who concluded the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy is beyond reproach. The lead detective not releasing a report is implied to be something suspicious, yet they don't relase reports to the family unless directed by the prosecutor or Sheriff. The second ME confirming the Sandusky County ME is referred to as cryptic. Statements about destruction of evidence are being made, the reality of the situation is that the ruling was made at which time evidence to support the Registers homicide delusion was null and void. No stippling could mean that this was a contact wound and therefore all stippling would be internal, this was explained yet the Register states that is insufficient. I really want the family to have closure but the editorials disguised as newsstories are disturbing. How about reporting facts without the slant.

Random Thoughts

Once again, "stippling" is NOT a burn.  It is the marks left on the skin (often called tattooing) as a result of the tiny unburnt gunpowder particles exiting the barrel at a high rate of speed and making contact with the skin. (somewhat like getting sprayed with a sand blaster on a much smaller scale).  A muzzle flash can cause singeing or superficial burning of the hair and skin, but that is separate from stippling.  Also, even with near shots, stippling on the scalp is sometimes not present if the person had thick hair.  This is so because the particles are sometimes blocked by the hair before they make it to the scalp.  A timely autopsy (prior to any cleaning of the hair by the mortician for example) should have determined the presence or absence of these gunpowder particles (and any singeing) - but we all know the autopsies in this case were far from timely. 

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Random Thoughts. Obviously you have some knowledge of these things. This article, and past news articles, clearly indicate that Wecht and Whaley provided the information about stippling. Wecht, particularly, described it as akin to a burn, or "tattoo-ing" from the firepower of a weapon left in the wound area. Perhaps your expertise exceeds theirs, but a news story containing information from experts is not an editorial. Beisser declined to respond to inquiries about this issue. Thanks for providing your point of view here in the comments section at sanduskyregister.com. 

Random Thoughts

I would suggest that those interested in the subject (or this particular case) conduct a couple of basic Google searches like "stippling gunshot wounds." As one can see from several photos that appear, making definitive conclusions about the distance of a gunshot based solely on the lack of stippling in the scalp area is problematic when thick hair is present. One particular photo of a near gunshot wound to the hairline clearly shows stippling below the hairline but none above the hairline. This is what troubles me most about Dr. Wecht's conclusion that this was a homicide - it apparently is based solely on the absence of stippling on the scalp of the deceased who appeared to have a thick head of hair in the photos published by the Register and on the Justice website. Hopefully the Attorney General's conclusions will be based on the totality of the evidence in the case.

dontcare

Since the Lucas County Coroner, Beisser declined to speak with you, she is obviously part of the "coverup" right Matt.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks dontcare. Certainly there are some who might believe there has been some sort of coverup given that much of the physical evidence appears to have been destroyed in the hours after Jacob Limberios was killed. But I don't believe the Register has ever made that suggestion. Personally, I have no idea what happened, or why the investigation(s) have been handled in this way, or why it's taken more than 18 months without any plausible conclusion. As far as Beisser not responding to inquiries, that was simply a statement of fact.

dontcare

There was a conclusion very early on in the case. The conclusion was not satisfactory to the family, they did not like the lack of response which is understandable. After listening to the recordings of the three witnesses there is absolutely no doubt they are telling the truth. You, their attorney, and the "hired" ME are doing the real disservice. This was a horrible tragedy, not a crime. I feel sorry for the family but I also feel sorry for the three witnesses who are being made scapegoats in this pubic exploitation of a real tragedy, now there are two tragedies instead of one.

Ithink

You have got to be kidding me, right? Three witnesses who continually changed their stories are "telling the truth"? Which version was the truth?

dontcare

If their stories were consistent over the course of 14 months, I would assume their story was a lie. Tell me what "significant" inconsistencies are you talking about. 3 separate witnesses over the course of 14 months, I'd say considering the circumstances there is nothing that indicates deception. Help me out here and point out what you are talking about.

deertracker

You make no sense! You only have to tell the truth once and the truth does not change!

dontcare

memories and recalls do.

registerer

dontcare - you are talking to a wall. These people don't believe in simple reasoning nor waiting until ALL facts have been presented and an UNBIASED opinion has been determined.

The SR has done a crappy job of reporting on this and only believe that their opinion is the right one.

Detrain

Register go on justice for jake & ella on facebook all the evidence is there the family has nothing to hide. Seens a few of You are on sandusky county side for screwing up in the first place.

dontcare

I don't like the idea of shopping around. Why would BCI's conclusions,suggestions,suppositions and opinions be any more valid than what they already have.

deertracker

If it had been your son what would YOU have done????? Unless you "dontcare you would seek the truth also!

dontcare

I would do the same thing, run completely on emotion and fail to see things in their true perspective, unfortunately it doesn't change the facts. I understand you may think you are helping the family but this was not a murder, just a horrible accident. I'm afraid the emotion in this case override the truth. We tend to discard the truth when it is not what we want.

Detrain

Dontcare yes it may have been an accident but not by jake by someone else. By not telling the truth then people would assume murder. There is a difference between suicide and accident can not be both

deertracker

double post

Detrain

Matt you guys doing a great job reporting this. Most of the stuff you see on here is not matt just saying this. He got his facts first before he put it on here. If you look at the pic of the gun jake shot you would see how powerful it is. So check out justice for jake & ella on facebook for more info.the family is not hiding anything.

Texx Reloader

This is very sad. I applaud the Sandusky Register for keeping the story alive, but you can tell it is fading a bit. Of course the Fremont Newspaper will never publish these things unless the absolutely are forced to. What muzzles them, I am not sure. If they are worried about the "reputation" of the local, it is for naught. As to a "cover-up," cover-ups are always present to one extent or another after malfeasance. Malfeasance will always happen when officials disregard the scientific method of collecting the facts, then looking for an answer instead of assuming and answer and making the facts fit. Assuming the answer comes from bigotry, which leads to gross violation of Civil Rights. Civil Rights complaints never get past State officials, which leads one to believe the locals have "a man in Columbus." I doubt the AG will deal with that at all. The office will strictly follow the specific case. Therefore, it will happen again, and again, and again. It may not be the life of a citizen in the County as people generally don't reform, just get better at subterfuge in their wickedness when caught. But there is One who sees all. They will be held accountable.

Texx Reloader

It is pretty common knowledge that if you don't belong to a certain "group" of people or families, you are not given the same consideration of others. While, sadly, this is not exclusive to this county, it is a sad fact. If you go into an investigation with preconceived notions, your results will be tainted by stupidity, which is the incestuous brother of bigotry. It is heartening that this issue made it to the AG. Maybe, some more funds will become available at a higher level in the future, and this will be brought to a head, and ended. Maybe someone higher up will simply decide to make an example of this behavior as the State Auditor did years ago, with their wacky accounting practices.

Detrain

Dontcare there were so many things sandusky county did wrong from the get go. If you listen to the witnesses statements and look at pics of where they say jake was standing does not match. Look on justice for jake & Ella in facebook all the evidence is there including pictures. The family is not hiding anything thats why they sharing everything with you guys to show you what really happened. It is easy to sit there and say things that make it sound like you on the other side. Either way this was tragic. Please people read everything in justice for Jake & Ella on facebook to get all the info .

Centauri

The bullet was a .357 magnum. There are articles online about gunshot wounds but they do not specify what type of bullets were used. A .22 rimfire, .25 ACP, .38 or 9mm cannot be compared to a .357 magnum which has a lot more gun powder and velocity than the bullets that I mentioned.

http://www.talkleft.com/zimm/con...
Gunshot wounds

The facts are that the Sandusky County coroner did not go to the scene or have a timely autopsy, LE did not properly investigate the shooting and no evidence was collected and preserved.