PHOENIX – Authorities have allowed a pathologist hired by relatives of a woman who died in police custody during an airport layover to have access to some of her organs, a lawyer for the family said Monday.
Pathologist Cyril Wecht was given access to Carol Anne Gotbaum's brain, heart and neck muscles Friday, said Michael Manning, an attorney for Gotbaum's family.
Wecht still needs tissue slides to complete his investigation into the death, which the family alleges came after police mishandled Gotbaum, Manning said.
Gotbaum, 45, was on her way to an alcohol treatment program in Tucson when police stopped her. Authorities said she was late for a flight and became angry when a gate crew wouldn't let her on the plane.
Officers handcuffed Gotbaum behind her back, shackled her to a bench and left her alone in a detention room. Police said she was later found unconscious and not breathing with the chain from the shackle pulled against the front of her neck.
It appeared that Gotbaum got tangled as she tried to manipulate the handcuffs from behind her to the front, police said. Authorities said they followed procedures in dealing with her.