Celina Cass Autopsy Completed, Leaves Questions Unanswered

VIDEO: Police treating the case of 11-year-old girl from Stewartstown as suspicious.
Share
Copy

The community of West Stewartstown, N.H., mourning the death of 11-year-old Celina Cass, is still waiting to find out how the fifth grader died.

New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jane Young announced tonight that medical examiners had completed an autopsy on Celina's remains, but more information is needed.

"The death certificate indicates the cause and manner of death are pending toxicology reports and further investigation," Young said at a brief news conference this evening.

Despite these findings, Young said, the Attorney General's office continues to investigate the death as suspicious based on "a visual observation of Miss Cass' body both in and out of water."

Celina's remains were discovered Monday morning in the Connecticut River, not far from her hometown. Several hours later, around 5 p.m., her body was pulled from the water, Young said.

Officers set up a tent this evening near the hydroelectric dam where divers found Celina's body and set up orange markers in the grass leading to a railroad trestle, The Associated Press reported.

"We're continuing to look for any evidence that may be there," Young said, adding that investigators are still interviewing witnesses.

When asked if West Stewartstown is in any danger, Young said, "We remind the public to remain vigilant at this point in the investigation."

Despite the town's heartbreak over Celina's death, West Stewartstown will hold its annual children's festival, called Stewartstown Days, in honor of Celina.

"We're hoping this is going to be the first step in our healing process," a festival committee member told ABCNews.com.

The committee met this evening to continue planning the festival, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Celina, was last seen Monday evening, July 25, at a computer in the home where she lives with her mother, stepfather and 13-year-old sister.

"Right now the family is in mourning. Everybody's shook up real bad right now," Celina's grandfather, Walter Laro, told the AP.

Speaking with the media Monday, Cass' father Adam Laro said his daughter was a kind young girl.

"Very sweet, very outgoing, very generous to people. Lovable, trusting, you name it," Laro said.

Celina Cass' Stepfather Wendell Noyes: Past Arrests, Strange Behavior

Court documents obtained by ABC News reveal that Celina's stepfather, Wendell Noyes, has a troubled past.

Noyes, 47, was taken by ambulance to a hospital Monday after behaving bizarrely. ABC affiliate WMUR-TV reported today that he is out of the hospital.

In 2003, the stepfather was involuntarily committed to a hospital because of schizophrenia and arrested for threatening an ex-girlfriend, according to court documents.

Noyes was charged with violating a protective order held by his ex-girlfriend and for criminal trespassing, criminal threatening and hindering apprehension. The girlfriend, who lived with her two kids at the time, said Noyes broke into her home while she was sleeping, lifted her mattress and slammed it down and then threatened to throw her down the stairs.

While awaiting trial, a judge ruled Noyes incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to be involuntarily placed in a hospital. Judge Richard Hampe wrote that Noyes' mental illness creates "a potentially serious likelihood of danger to himself and others." A forensic examiner deemed Noyes a paranoid schizophrenic who likely developed his mental illness while in the Air Force, according to court documents.

So far nobody, including Noyes, has been named a suspect in Celina's disappearance and death.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...