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Autopsy Doctor Changes Opinion

Posted June. 21, 2001 19:27,   


The doctor who carried out an autopsy on the body of Son Sun-Nyeo, 27, a survivor from the KAL airplane crash, announced on 20th (U.S. time) that he will revise his first autopsy opinion on the mysteriously drowned victim. He had said that Son died of heart failure.

Consequently, suspicion toward U.S. police’s insufficient investigation on the cause of death and the possibility of homicide is increasing.

Donna Smith, attorney of Son’s family, told her Korean partner attorney Richard Lee (Lee Young-Gu at the Continental Law Firm) during a telephone conversation on the same day afternoon, ``the first autopsy opinion was just made following the police’s opinion of natural death without considering of the circumstance of death.

Attorney Smith said that the autopsy doctor said he will change his opinion on the cause of the death from the `natural drowning` to `death from unknown causes`. The doctor recently returned from a vacation on 20th.

The autopsy doctor said after reading the `report on witness interview and the on-spot investigation` that ``Korean attorneys, including Lee, submitted to the prosecutors office and police. I did not know about such a circumstance related with Son’s death. I will do another autopsy on the body of Son.``

According to attorney Smith, it has been revealed that Shawn Michael, 32, the husband of Son, asked Son’s cell-phone company, right after Son’s death, to erase the detailed information of Son’s telephone usage and the recorded voice-messages.

Attorney Smith said that she directly asked the cell-phone company and had confirmed Michael’s demand to erase the information.

The attorney said that there is very high chance of Michael’s involvement since he tried to eradicate the detailed telephone conversation information which can be an important clue for the time of Son’s death.

In the meantime, Dan Atkins, Son’s American friend, said on 20th that she had telephone conversations several times with Son on the day before Son’s body was found. According to Atkins, Son said, ``I want to stay with you because I am scared.`` Atkins said that she talked with her until 3 pm on the day before Son’s body was found, and because Son didn’t call her until 10:30 pm on that day, she went out to do some errands and came back in the afternoon on next day. When she came back, there was a message left by Son at 11:30 pm on the day before Son’s body was found.

Atkins testified that although she had tried to inform the story of telephone conversation and messages, the police rejected it.

Lee Myoung-Gun gun43@donga.com