Arkanas State Crime Lab Chief Medical Examiner responds to questions about the death of Marilane Carter
I have received email communication with the Chief Medical Examiner at the Arkansas State Crime Lab where Marilane Carter's body was taken after she was found deceased in her car that was backed into a shipping container in a field on private property in Crittenden County, Arkansas. Marilane was reportedly found by her husband Adam Carter's uncle on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. This uncle apparently who found her is Larry Bradley. The property where she was found had been previously searched by law enforcement and others, including family members. According to the Crittenden County Sheriff Chief Todd Grooms, the containers had been seen before but not searched as the doors appeared closed and assumed to be locked.
Marilane had been reported missing on August 3 at about 3- 4 am by her husband Adam who apparently went in person to the Overland Park, Kansas police department. She allegedly left home on the evening of August 1 at 8:15pm. Family members have stated that she was traveling to Birmingham, Alabama to visit her sister who was due to have a baby, as well as to seek treatment for "sleep issues" while she was there. Missing person flyers posted by family members on August 5 mentioned that Marilane had been wanting to seek mental health help.
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Kokes was contacted by email on Saturday, September 5, 2020 with several questions about Marilane Carter's case:
I have four questions.
1 Is the above case still open with your office?
2 Has there been an explicit ruling of suicide or not?
3 Are there URL links from your office available regarding the above case that provide information? (I could not identify any)
4 What do I need to do to submit a FOIA request for all available rulings, reports, and records for the above case?
His response on Tuesday, September 8, 2020:
1) The cause and manner of death have been determined, but I am not at liberty to publicly release that information. The autopsy report has not been completed .
2) The manner of death has been determined. Again, I cannot publicly release that information.
3) The information that is developed from a postmortem exam performed at the Arkansas St. Crime Lab is considered privileged and confidential. We can only release case information when it is authorized by the district attorney, or by a court order.
4) The information developed from a postmortem exam performed at the Arkansas St. Crime Lab is exempt from FOIA.
I realize these are not the type of response you were hoping to get, but the rules regarding our release of information are set by statute.
Charles Kokes, M.D.
Chief Medical Examiner