The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Reporter's Notebook

April 27, 2013

Bike-track foes gird for battle

(Continued)

A resident of Kortright, Howard also noted that the remains of stone walls built by his ancestors run throughout the Clapper forest.

“I would like to meet with DEC and the pipeline company to make sure it is not going to disturb any of my family’s burial sites,” he said.

When asked this week whether the state agency was taking any steps to protect the forest from the pipeline, a DEC spokeswoman provided an answer that was non-responsive, pointing out what we already know.

“This project is still in the pre-application stage,” the spokeswoman said.

•••

It’s been more than two months since the unclothed body of Chenango County mother Jennifer Ramsaran was found off Center Road in the rural town of Pharsalia.

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office says it is awaiting toxicology results from the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s office, which performed an autopsy after the corpse was discovered Feb. 26. Ramsaran, 36, had been reported missing Dec. 11 by her husband, Ganesh “Remy” Ramsaran, who has said he used GPS technology to locate her cell phone in Plymouth on Dec. 12.

Perhaps the most seasoned forensic pathologist I have ever interviewed is Dr. Michael Baden. For 25 years, until his recent retirement, he served as the top forensic expert for the state police. He has also been retained as a forensic expert in numerous high-profile cases, including the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, the prosecution of Marlon Brando’s son, Christian Brando, on a homicide charge; and the investigation into rape allegations against NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, among others.

I reached out to Baden earlier this week and explained to him what I knew of the status of the Ramsaran investigation, in which a cause of death has yet to be announced. Baden advised that such a long delay is not unheard of, especially in a case in which the corpse was near a wooded area and thus exposed to wildlife for many weeks.

“Where there has been decomposition of the body, it can sometimes be tricky to find out the cause of death,” he said.

One factor working in favor of determining the cause of death, Baden pointed out, is that the body was outdoors during many wintry days when temperatures were freezing, thus inhibiting decomposition.

JOE MAHONEY is a staff writer for The Daily Star. Contact jmahoney@thedailystar.com.

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