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Mother of Amanda Wienckowsi files lawsuit against Erie County Medical Examiner to amend her daughter's death certificate

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said 'there is evidence to show that the first autopsy is not entirely correct.'

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The mother of Amanda Lynne Wienckowski, 20, has filed a lawsuit against Erie County and Erie County's Chief Medical Examiner.

The lawsuit is calling for an amendment to Wienckowski's death certificate to indicate her cause of death was homicide or "undetermined," or to have the Erie County Medical Examiner's office reopen the investigation to determine her cause of death.

A hearing will be held on September 10 in front of an Erie County judge to hear arguments from Erie County and attorney John Ray. Ray is representing Wienckowski's mother, Leslie Brill Meserole, over Wienckowski's death certificate.

Wienckowski's nude and frozen body was found inside a garbage tote by a Buffalo Police officer on January 9, 2009. Her cause of death was ruled "acute opiate intoxication," or accidental overdose.

Meserole has disputed this cause of death for the last 12 years. She believes Amanda was murdered.

In February, Meserole got a new opinion from toxicology expert Dr. Ted Simon. Dr. Simon found that "based on low concentrations of codeine and morphine in samples of blood and liver from Wienckowski … acute opiate intoxication is highly unlikely."

These findings led Meserole to file the Article 78 petition to have Wienckowksi's death certificate changed to homicide or "undetermined."

She's been working with YouTuber Gavin Fish to gain support with this effort. Fish told 2 On Your Side they have evidence that Wienckowski may have been stunned by a handheld stun gun on her jaw. Meserole is working to raise $12,000 to have Wienckowski's body exhumed a second time to test for that.

Meserole has been asking the Erie County District Attorney's office to investigate the case further, but Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said the number of eyes that have looked at the case is "remarkable."

"There is no one that can accuse this office or anyone in particular of one, not taking this case seriously, and two, not having as many eyes as possible look at this case to try and determine what happened here, to a reasonable degree of certainty," Flynn said.

Flynn said there were four autopsies done on Amanda Wienckowski. One determined she overdosed, another determined she died of manual strangulation, and two others ruled her death "undetermined."

"The fact of the matter is, there is no way, with the number of different findings from the medical examiners and medical experts that are all different, there is no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, or close to a reasonable doubt, what happened here," Flynn said.

Flynn said even if he was able to garner clarification about the multiple causes of death, he said the statute of limitations has run out on all charges except intentional murder.

However, when asked about the recent lawsuit filed to amend Wienckowski's death certificate, Flynn said, "There is evidence to show that the first autopsy is not entirely correct. … The family's civil attorney has some ammunition to go forward in getting the autopsy report changed."

Meserole said getting Wiencowski's death certificate changed to homicide would bring her closure.

"She (Amanda) will just get closure and she needs that, and deserves it. It will mean more to me in the world than anything," Meserole said. 


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