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Mother fighting to get daughter's cause of death determined

Published On: Oct 10 2012 07:00:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 10 2012 08:38:56 PM CDT
Kala Williams glamour shot
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A Spokane mother is asking the medical examiner's office to rule her daughter's death a homicide so detectives can go forward and make an arrest in the case.

Kala Williams' dismembered body was found in a wooded area last May at the bottom of the Sunset Hill. Today a small memorial marks the spot where the dismembered remains of the 20-year-old Spokane resident were found.

To date the medical examiner has not determined the cause and manner of Kala Williams' death. Martine Maggio first had to deal with her daughter's death; now she's dealing with not knowing how Kala died or the knowledge there may be someone out on the streets right now who knows how she died.

"It's not something I would wish on any family," Maggio said Wednesday.

Maggio is certain of one thing: She feels her daughter was murdered. Williams, a former Ferris High School student, was found dismembered and placed in trash bags in a remote, wooded area on the Sunset Hill.

"Truly I think it was foul play because whoever was involved obviously dismembered her. She didn't do that herself. She didn't put herself in a bag. She didn't transport herself down to where she was found so there's obviously foul play involved," Maggio said.

However during the autopsy of Williams' remains, medical examiner Dr. John Howard found no obvious signs of trauma; no bullet wounds, no stab wounds. Dr. Howard listed her cause and manner of death as undetermined.

"If she had fallen down the stairs or hit her head on the hearth of a fireplace someone would have gotten medical attention for her or a hit and run.. The neighbors would have seen," Maggio said.

It's possible Williams was cut up by a panicked friend after an accidental death but doctors have ruled out a drug overdose and that makes murder a much more likely scenario. However medical examiners have to stick with the facts and aren’t allowed to speculate on cause of death.

And what Maggio wants now are facts. She wants to know how her daughter was killed.

"I want to have some concrete answers so the case can be pursued actively. That's what I want," she said.

Dr. Howard has agreed to meet with Maggio and explain what's hurting his ability to determine the cause and manner of death. Maggio might have to appeal to the Spokane County prosecutor to get this case moving forward even without the help of the medical examiner's office.

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