Autopsy reveals asphyxiation, blunt force trauma
An autopsy carried out by forensic specialists at Sanglah Hospital on the body of Mark Ovenden, the Australian national found dead Thursday under suspicious circumstances, revealed that the primary cause of death was asphyxiation. The specialists also found blunt force trauma on Ovenden’s neck and believe that this trauma played a major role in his death.
“The autopsy found evidence of several blunt force trauma on the face, head, neck and chest. The cause of death is asphyxiation caused by strong pressure on the neck,” Sanglah’s forensic department chief Dr. Dudut Rustyadi said.
The pressure, which left evidence of trauma, was applied to the muscle area below the Adam’s apple.
“It could be the result of strong pressure applied with a wooden stick or some other hard object. But it certainly is not caused by strangulation, because we didn’t find circular blunt trauma around the neck,” he added.
The three-hour autopsy was carried out Saturday morning by three forensic specialists. The results will be officially presented to the police on Monday.
“We have informed the police of the results, however on Monday we will hold a presentation on the results,” he added.
The police have treated the case as a serious one since the first day, deploying investigators to question witnesses even before the autopsy had been carried out.
The hospital did not carry out the autopsy on Friday, as originally planned, because it was still waiting for approval from the deceased’s family. However, it also acknowledged that the police had the legal authority to request a mandatory autopsy in cases involving death under suspicious circumstances.
“The autopsy was carried out in accordance with procedures,” Rustyadi said.
The body of Mark Ovenden, a resident of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, was found in an area of shrubs in Kutuh village, south Kuta. Police feared that he may be a victim of foul play after discovering bruises and abrasions on his body. South Kuta police chief Adj. Comr. Gede Ganefo said that the deceased’s body had been found by Wayan Suada, a local villager, at around 10 a.m. “The villager was looking for fresh grass for his cows in that area when he spotted the deceased’s body lying on the ground,” Ganefo said, adding that Ovenden was wearing short brown pants and no shirt.
“His personal belongings remained undisturbed. We found a silver ring, a wristwatch, a wallet containing Rp 600,000 (US$63.60) in bank notes and a credit card,” he said.
The police also found a Honda scooter with a local license plate next to the body.
Initial examination of the body found blood on his nose and bruises and abrasion on his chest, back and arms. The police estimated that he had been dead for 24 hours before Suada spotted his body.