Friday, September 20 2013 7:22 PM EDT2013-09-20 23:22:50 GMT
Terry L. Abbas
At a Friday morning media conference, the Jo Daviess Co. Sheriff's Office said officials found human remains Thursday evening believed to be missing East Dubuque teen Chyenne Kircher.More >>
At a Friday morning media conference, the Jo Daviess Co. Sheriff's Office said officials found human remains Thursday evening believed to be missing East Dubuque teen Chyenne Kircher. More >>
EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. (KWWL) -
The autopsy results for murdered East Dubuque, Ill. teenager Chyenne Kircher came back inconclusive, Jo Daviess County chief sheriff's deputy Dave Hachmeister said Wednesday.
The coroner said studying Kircher's remains provided an undetermined cause of death, according to Hachmeister.
Prosecutors have charged Kircher's stepfather Terry Abbas with her death, saying he strangled her with his hands.
Hachmeister said investigators made that initial conclusion based on the position of the remains' hyoid bone - a neck bone. However, he said, the coroner informed them that bone is very flexible in young people, and Kircher was 14 when she went missing.
Kircher may very well have been strangled, Hachmeister said, but the evidence is not as conclusive as they initially thought.
When asked whether the remains showed evidence of sexual abuse or even pregnancy, Hachmeister said they had decomposed too far to determine that, though they are sending tissue for toxicology testing
Still, he said, officials have a "very strong case" against Abbas and more information will come to light if the case goes to trial.
Abbas' next court date is Oct. 24, where he is expected to plea. According to Jo Daviess County records, Abbas has opted to represent himself in court.
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