Dr Phil: Darby Autopsy Report
Dr Phil has been looking into the deaths of 19-month-old Darby and four-year-old Kiera, who died while in their mother Julia’s care, three months apart in 2010. Though Julia’s father said that her ex-husband, Tommy, was the violent one, Dr Phil had more questions about the autopsy (which Julia’s new husband Codey’s mother claims was never performed).
Dr Phil: Rib Fractures from CPR?
According to the autopsy report for Darby in June 2010, the pathologist concluded that his cause of death was undetermined, but noted “two left-sided rib fractures.” A Child Protective Services report in Darby’s case suggested that the broken ribs or bruising could have been the result of an attempt to perform CPR.
Dr Phil pointed out that Julia’s theory of a bad vaccination reaction would not explain broken ribs or bruising. Julia said that her child was wild and adventurous, often jumping off furniture. She insisted that he was never abused.
Dr Phil: Cyril Wecht Final Exams Review
Dr Cyril Wecht, a world-renowned forensic pathologist who has performed or consulted on thousands of autopsies and many high-profile cases, joined the show via Polycom to share his conclusions about these cases. (If you’d like to know more about his career, check out the book Final Exams: True Crime Cases from Cyril Wecht.)
Dr Wecht studied both children’s autopsy reports and shared his insights with the concerned parties. Darby had more than a dozen scratch marks and bruises on his face and body. There were multiple hemorrhages beneath his scalp on different parts of the head as well.
Dr Phil: Highly Suspicious Hemorrhages & Bruising
“Those hemorrhages occur only from some kind of impact,” Dr Wecht said. He also noted that the brain was swollen, with blood congestion and edema in the lungs, indicating a prolonged struggle. Petechial hemorrhages on the lungs are often consistent with asphyxiation.
Dr Phil wondered whether the broken ribs could have been the result of CPR. But Dr Wecht said no, because the fractured ribs were #7 and 8 on the left side. In a microscopic examination, histological changes were visible, indicating to him that there was clear evidence of “traumatic fractures.”
Dr Wecht said that the totality of these findings indicated to him that trauma occurred, on more than one occasion, since some of the physical evidence was older than other portions. “This is a case that is highly suspicious,” he said in conclusion.