Did the Cliff Have Teeth?: Cause of Death
Lauren’s body was taken for an autopsy and things started to get very suspicious. There were marks on the top of her back and bruising on her shoulders along with bruising on her breasts in the shape of bite marks. The bite mark was very strange because it wasn’t vertical, which would have shown signs of sexual assault, it was done sideways as if someone reached over her body and bit her. This stood out to the officers, which made them suggest for the people doing the autopsy to also do a rape kit, but no one ever did one.
The reason a rape kit was not performed was because Lauren was wearing a tampon so they assumed that if she was wearing a tampon, she couldn’t possibly have been sexually assaulted. This isn’t true since sexual assaulters usually don’t care if the person they are sexually assaulting is on their period or not, which Lauren wasn’t so many were a bit confused as to why she was wearing a tampon to begin with. Some think she could’ve just been taking precautions so an accident wouldn’t happen while they were out, while others think the tampon was a decoy that the sexual assaulter might have planted to distract officers.
Other interesting details uncovered during the autopsy were that the clothes Lauren was wearing weren’t hers, and she didn’t look like she had dressed herself. The clothes were not properly put on and certain pieces of clothing were tangled. Although a rape kit wasn’t done, a blood test was done and this blood test revealed that Lauren’s alcohol level was twice the legal limit, which was expected since she was heavily drinking at the festival the night of her death. Although she was drunk, she was not blackout drunk and could still handle herself.
Once a proper pathologist looked over her body, they determined Lauren’s injuries weren’t from foul play and believed the marks were consistent with her possibly falling from a ledge and hitting herself on the rocks on the way down. There was also some crushing to Lauren’s throat which led many to believe it might have been from strangulation before her fall but pathologists believe she could have just hit her throat while falling. She also had many scratches and scrapes all over her body that was consistent with the theory of her possibly falling to her death but many don’t believe there were enough scrapes and scratches on her body for her to have fallen since the side of the ledge was very rocky and had a bunch of twigs so if she did fall she would have had to have way more scrapes, scratches, and bruises.
Lauren also had other injuries including broken fingers and a broken nose. This could have happened while she was falling down the side of the ledge but it could have also happened while Lauren was trying to fight off an attacker. Another piece of evidence that backs the theory of her being attacked or assaulted is that Lauren had two large bruises on her inner thighs. Even with all of this evidence, Lauren’s official cause of death was ruled as accidental by drowning although many don’t believe that to be true. Many believe her death was a homicide.
Do you believe Lauren’s death was a homicide? Find out the details for this argument next week to see if they line up with your theory on Lauren’s death.