Police chief's daughter overdosed on heroin and cocaine, autopsy says | Crime
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The medical examiner has released the autopsy results for the Concord police chief's daughter who died in September of 2010.
Michael Harvey is charged with killing 23-year-old Valerie Hamilton, the daughter of Concord Police Chief Merl Hamilton.
Hamilton was found dead in a storage unit a few days after she was last seen leaving a Charlotte bar with Harvey. Since his September arrest, Harvey maintained that Hamilton died of a drug overdose and that he did not kill her.
An initial autopsy report showed no signs of physical trauma to Hamilton's body.
According to the autopsy released Friday afternoon, Hamilton had no medical history and was found several days after she was reported missing. She had been seen at a tavern in Charlotte and left with someone, the report said.
The medical examiner's report goes on to say, "Drug use was believed to have occurred around that time. She was reportedly noted by a witness to be unresponsive and needing medical attention. She was taken from the residence where the drug use occurred, however, medical care was not sought or provided."
Hamilton's body was later found in east Charlotte in a storage unit following an intense search by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
On Friday, Chief Merl Hamilton released a statement, but he did not address the autopsy report directly. (Click here to read the full statement)
"Our only goal as a family is to try and get through life without Valerie," the statement said. "She is missed every second of every day with every aspect of life diminished without her beautiful personality experiencing it with us."
The report says the toxicological analysis revealed "...an aortic blood cocaine level of 0.042 mg/L with metabolites benzoylecgonine present at a level of 0.18 mg/L and cocaethylene present at a level of 0.042 mg/L."
The report concluded that the level of cocaine in her body was "toxic" and that "the combined effect of cocaine and heroin would be lethal."
Earlier this month, Harvey appeared in court with his attorney for what was supposed to be a hearing to determine if the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's office would pursue the death penalty against him.
Assistant District Attorney Beth Greene said her office was not comfortable making that decision until it had a final report from the Medical Examiner's Office.
During the hearing, Harvey's attorney, Kim Saxton, asked for the hearing be delayed until February 18 because the defense team was waiting on a "global offer" from Assistant District Attorney Beth Greene.
Saxton said Greene told her the state would be formally making that offer at the February court hearing. Saxton did not say what would be offered.
Harvey is now scheduled to have an arraignment on February 18.
The Hamilton family will have no public comment on the recently released autopsy report for Valerie Hamilton or any future court proceedings. The report and those proceedings are part of the judicial process and because of that, comments should only come from those investigating or prosecuting the case as they deem appropriate.
Our only goal as a family is to try and get through life without Valerie. She is missed every second of every day with every aspect of life diminished without her beautiful personality experiencing it with us.
Valerie's family and friends would like to continue to thank the community for the immense outpouring of prayers and support received. It is those thoughts that have allowed those closest to Val to keep going during this difficult time.
While the family understands it is this concern for the family that primarily drives the intense media interest in this case, that interest from the media outlets has added greatly to the emotional toll suffered. No one in Val's family will be speaking to the media and ask that attempts not be made to seek comment from them.
Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.
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