SCHENECTADY — An autopsy on the body of Schenectady teenager Samantha Humphrey could not determine her cause of death, Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said on Tuesday.
Carney said that a pair of prosecutors from his office and a Schenectady detective informed the Humphrey family on Monday that the girl’s cause of death was not able to be determined by a county medical examiner.
Humphrey, 15, went missing on Nov. 25 at approximately 11:30 p.m. in the area of Riverside Park in the Stockade neighborhood. After an extensive search of the Mohawk River, her body was recovered in the river in the same park area on Feb. 22.
Schenectady police subsequently deemed the case a homicide investigation. Carney said the inquiry will continue unabated.
“It doesn’t stop the investigation, the investigation continues,” Carney said. “Obviously it’s a complication. What it means is that there was insufficient medical evidence with the forensic pathologist unable to make a ruling to the cause of death, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t open in terms of a death investigation for either police or a pathologist. That’s his finding at this point.”
With Humphrey missing for nearly three months before her body was recovered, Carney said it’s possible that if the body were submerged in the river for an extended period of time it may have contributed to the indeterminate autopsy results.
“I’m not a forensic pathologist so I can’t speculate as to the reason his finding was undetermined, but I think there’s some logic to the thought that the length of time wasn’t helpful,” he said.
Carney declined to provide more details about the investigation or any possible arrest.
According to Schenectady police, Humphrey was last spotted on surveillance video on the night of Nov. 25 in the area of the Front Street Pool along the Mohawk River, with no footage showing her leaving the park. Her body was discovered three months later in the river nearby by a fisherman.
Contact Ted Remsnyder at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @TedRemsnyder.
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