This story is getting weird by the day... http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1641389
Investigators mapping scene in search for answers
Posted By ROB TRIPP
Investigators seeking to explain the perplexing deaths of four women found in a submerged car are mapping the baffling scene.
Yesterday, a two-man survey crew was at Kingston Mills, plotting the terrain around the lock where the car was found.
The City of Kingston workers mapped all of the property extending from Kingston Mills Road north, beyond and around the northernmost lock.
A black Nissan Sentra was found Tuesday in roughly three metres of water, its nose facing the east stone wall, near the mammoth wood door of the lock. Three teenage girls and their aunt, all from Montreal, were found dead inside the car.
The mapping is being done at the request of Kingston Police, said Dr. Roger Skinner, the regional coroner who is investigating the deaths in tandem with police.
"I haven't spoken to (police) about that particular activity but (it's) similar to, say, motor vehicle accidents, where you have reconstruction specialists who map out distances and markings and so on to try to get an explanation for what happened," Skinner told theWhig-Standardyesterday.
The small tract of land around the lock is a patchwork of changing elevation, stonework, retaining walls and rocky outcrops. The surveyors marked and noted elevations of major obstacles and objects.
Investigators are trying to determine the path the car followed to get into the water.
Skinner said post mortems on all four victims were completed Thursday.
"That's sort of the anatomical component, you know the actual dissection and examination of the body, but in these situations there is ancillary testing to do and that can take weeks to months to get that all back," he said.
He would not provide any information about what was learned from the autopsies.
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Kingston Police have said the deaths are "suspicious" but they have not uncovered evidence of foul play.
The probe has been classed as a coroner's case. Skinner would not say how the decision was reached.
"In cases where it does not appear to be a criminally suspicious case, then generally the coroner will take the lead," Skinner said.
"This is one of those cases where probably we're still working in parallel because we haven't yet fully investigated the deaths and as the police have described it ... there are some issues that haven't been fully explained."
Skinner said he is in close contact with police.
He described the investigation as unusual because there are four deaths.
"It is a very complicated scenario right from the start," he said.
As the surveyors worked at Kingston Mills yesterday, a parade of curious and compassionate onlookers visit the property, speculating how a car could possibly have dropped into the water at that point, without leaving telltale marks and damage.
"Where's the barge that dropped it off?" Kingstonian Dexter Dafoe wondered, half seriously, while he stood near the flower-strewn ledge.
Dafoe was berry picking in the area and decided to get his own first hand look at the mystery.
"That's a real corker, to get that car through there without hitting anything," he said, looking at the stone ledge around the lock and the surrounding property.
A steel gate that would provide easy car access to the spot is locked and undamaged. A terraced stone flower bed is undisturbed.
"There's no damage up there by the road," Dafoe said, echoing what many observers have noted -- the absence of evidence to explain how a car, manoeuvring in a poorly lit area in the dead of night -- could possibly drive off the edge into the water.
The car first had to drive up a narrow, grassy slope between a rock outcrop and a stone wall and make a near hairpin turn to get to the stone ledge.
Then it had to pass between a steel apparatus, a wheel that an operator turns to allow water to flow into the lock, and the edge of the lock doors.
None of the mechanisms have any damage or shows signs of even having been nicked by a passing car.
More puzzling is the theory that the car entered the water backwards, if it entered at this point, because it was found with its front end butted against the stone wall.
That speculation seems more troublesome given the claim by the family of the dead girls that the calamity must be a driving accident, caused when one of the teenage girls, an unlicensed driver, got behind the wheel.
Article ID# 1641389