Immediately following the release of the autopsy reports on November 19th, I contacted Thomas Mollett, a forensic investigator, fellow true crime author and friend, and asked him his opinion on Shan’anns Blood Alcohol Levels. They were found to be three times the legal limit for driving. How likely was it, I asked, that these apparently high levels were from “normal” decomposition?
Pathology is an extremely complex science, and many factors play into the biological processes that occur after death.
The three basic pillars one uses to calculate whether the BAC is “normal” or not are related to:
- the time the body is exposed to the elements [here time of death is a factor, unknown in this case, but with a relatively short window either way]
- the ambient conditions of the body [temperature, humidity etc.]
- circumstantial evidence is also a vital tool to gauge alcohol content, including eye witnesses, Shan’ann’s drinking habits, and her appearance in the Ring camera footage when she arrived home [described but not released thus far]
During our first communication I miscommunicated to Mollett that Shan’ann’s corpse was recovered after only 48 hours, which I guessed wasn’t enough time to reflect the high alcohol levels found. This was an initial error on my part; it took closer to 70 hours for Shan’ann’s corpse to be discovered and exhumed.
Based on this initial miscommunication, Mollett also believed the BAC level was likely higher than a natural rate [which as I say, was also what I suspected].
I asked Mollett to investigate the BAC levels and I’m grateful to him for doing so in detail. Obviously part of his thorough investigation corrected the original 48 hour error.
Below is Mollet’s unabridged report on the BAC levels.