Pathologist declares Kathleen Savio’s death a homicide

February 21

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that his office has received the final report on the autopsy performed on the remains of Kathleen S. Savio on Nov. 13, 2007.

Dr. Larry W. Blum, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, concludes in his report that the actual cause of Kathleen Savio’s death was drowning and that the legal manner of death was homicide. Dr. Blum’s report was delivered to the Will County Coroner’s Office on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008 and immediately forwarded to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois State Police.

“Dr. Blum’s forensic report renders his expert opinion that this is a homicide,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “We have been investigating this as a murder since reopening the case in November of last year. We now have a scientific basis to formally and publicly classify it as such.”

The complete autopsy report is a component of the investigation into the March 1, 2004 death of Kathleen Savio and will not be released. However, the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois State Police are releasing the following quote from the conclusion in Dr. Blum’s report:

“It is my opinion based on my education, training, experience and personal observations, and to a reasonable degree of medical and scientific certainty, compelling evidence exists to support the conclusions that the cause of death of Kathleen S. Savio was drowning and further, that the manner of death was homicide.”

This was the second autopsy performed on Kathleen Savio’s remains. The first was performed shortly after her death in March 2004. Her body was exhumed on the morning of Nov. 13, 2007, and Dr. Blum performed the second autopsy that afternoon.

In his report, Dr. Blum notes that he reviewed photos taken from the scene at the time of Kathleen Savio’s death as well as reports of the initial scene investigation. He also carefully examined the physical location of Kathleen Savio’s death on Nov. 20, 2007 as part of his investigation.

His report includes the results of microscopic examinations and toxicological tests conducted on postmortem tissue specimens. The specimens examined by Dr. Blum were collected during the first autopsy on March 2, 2004, the second autopsy performed by Dr. Blum on Nov. 13, 2007, and a third autopsy performed by Dr. Michael Baden on behalf of Kathleen Savio’s family on Nov. 16, 2007.

The results of those examinations and tests are part of the investigation and are not being disclosed at this time.

The Illinois State Police are investigating the murder of Kathleen Savio as well as the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. Kathleen Savio’s murder and Stacy Peterson’s disappearance are simultaneously being investigated by a Special Grand Jury that was convened in November 2007.