1999 August 27 News Article – Death Officially Ruled a Homicide

WEBSITE AUTHOR NOTE: This is highly unusual and there really is no good explanation other than there appears to have been some issue back and forth between the State’s Attorneys office and the County Coroner’s office. It should be added that Dr. Violette Hnlinica, the pathologist employed by the County Coroner’s office that at the time was headed up by Dan Brady, was fired not too long after her Christina McNeil autopsy. No time of death was ever determined for the first 9 months of the case which is unusual. Usually when a murder has just happened a core body temperature can be taken that is fairly accurate if external temperature is known as when the body dies, it is at approximately 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet despite paramedics and the Assistant County Coroner being present when Barton called 9-1-1, nobody had the forethought to take Christina McNeil’s temperature. For the first 9 months the belief was always as Bart had told everyone it was, namely that he last saw his daughter alive and awake just after midnight. He checked on her as he had heard a noise and saw her awake sitting upright in her bed reading a book. He then told her to go back to bed as the next day was going to be busy as in the morning Christina was going to go to daycare. Misook did not have a post-midnight alibi however did seemingly have an alibi, if we are to believe her and her friends, that they were together until about 11 pm. Would it not then be convenient if they could get Dr. Hnlinica to confirm that the death of Christina occurred at a pre-11 pm hour? But wait, Dr. Hnlinica had been fired for some cause of action! Alas they were able to get her to come back to write a one-page document setting forth that due to her “gastronomic contents” evaluation, where Dr. Hnlinica saw remnants of some french fries and a partially undigested hamburger from the McDonalds Happy Meal Bart had purchased her that night, that this was the time she must have died. Not the time that Bart had long maintained was the last time he spoke to Christina thus asserting that she had to have died at a post-midnight hour. In any event this case is full of many anomalies. Including Barton’s inability to even utter the name Misook Nowlin at his actual trial which was a bench trial as you know by now.

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