Dr. Cyril Wecht performed the autopsy on Rebecca Zahau in Pittsburgh at the request of the dead woman's family. The body was exhumed from her grave in Missouri earlier this week, Wecht said. It was flown back to Missouri after the autopsy for reburial, he added.
The pathologist said the body was in good condition and well preserved. He prepared a number of tissue samples for microscopic examination during the procedure. He said he will compare his results with those of the original autopsy performed by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office in July. He said he expects to give his final report on Zahau's death to her family in about 10 days.
"I have some questions which I shall keep in mind," Wecht explained, "But I want to make it clear that I'm not undertaking this with preconceived conclusions."Wecht is working pro bono for Zahau's family. He said they will appear on a segment of the "Dr. Phil" show to discuss the results of the autopsy. He said he would also appear on the show if asked.
Zahau, 32, was found naked, bound and hanging from a balcony inside the Spreckels Mansion on July 13. After a seven-week investigation, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and other agencies determined she committed suicide after being grief-stricken over the impending death of her boyfriend's son, Max Shacknai.
Her family has refused to accept the finding, saying Zahau was a religious woman who viewed suicide a sin.
In a related development, the Sheriff's Department released the reports from its investigation into Zahau's death to Anne Bremner, the Seattle attorney who is representing them during their private investigation into her death.