An autopsy was conducted Monday to determine the time and cause of death of an 11-year-old Thomasville, N.C., girl whose mother called 911 from a LaGrange truck stop Sunday night to report she wasn't breathing.
Nicole Aduma Kasera was pronounced dead by Troup County Coroner Jeff Cook at 9:44 p.m. at the LaGrange Travel Center, 2560 Whitesville Road, Cook said Tuesday. She was discovered dead on the back seat of the mother's compact burgundy sedan. The Troup County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Medical Service responded to the call.
She was traveling with her mother and 8-year-old sister, who is in foster care, Cook said.
Rigor mortis had already set in when he arrived at the truck stop, Cook confirmed, but he could not say how long she had been dead. He said it can set in quicker with a child than an adult. Rigor mortis is the temporary rigidity of the muscles that occurs after death.
"We're still trying to determine exactly how, when and where she died," said GBI Agent Rodney Wall from the Greenville office. "The mother called 911 and reported the child was not breathing." The GBI is assisting in the investigation.
The mother is being held in the Troup County Jail, but investigator Lt. Rick Massie would not release the mother's name nor confirm the charge she is being held on.
"Due to the condition of the body, it was sent to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy," states a news release issued by the Troup County Sheriff's Office. "After the autopsy is completed, the Sheriff's Office is confident that an arrest warrant will be sought."
His examination of the body at the scene and at West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange did not reveal any clear signs the girl had health problems, Cook said.
He said she was dressed in "normal street clothes: leggings, tennis shoes, blue jeans, two shirts, a jacket and stocking cap. It was cold that night."
Authorities remained tight-lipped about the death as they await more information from the autopsy findings.