Police Reveal Why Chris Cornell’s Shirt Was Torn, Reason For Taking Bodyguard’s DNA

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Detroit News have released a new Frequently Asked Questions article about Chris Cornell’s death, including quotes from the Detroit Police investigator assigned to his case.

Q.: If there was no struggle, why was Cornell’s shirt torn, as stated in the reports?

A.: “It was torn by the medical people as they tried to save his life,” said Detroit Police investigator Charles Weaver, who investigated and compiled the report on Cornell’s death.

Q.: Why did the medic say there were “signs of strangulation” as heard on the police scanner?

A.: In medicine, the term strangulation isn’t referring to a homicidal act, said pathologist Cyril Wecht, former medical examiner of Allegheny County, Penn., and chairman of the American Board of Legal Medicine board of trustees.

It denotes a medical condition in which blood flow to part of the body is cut off, he said.

“You can strangle yourself,” he said. “When people hear ‘strangulation,’ they automatically think it’s a homicide, but that’s not necessarily the case.”

Q.: Why would Cornell ask to have his Apple TV fixed, as stated in police reports, if he was about to kill himself less than an hour later?

A.: “We never know what a person is thinking during a suicide,” Weaver said. “Unless there’s a note, sometimes there are no answers.”

Q.: Why swab the bodyguard’s hands for DNA? And was the DNA submitted to the Michigan State Police Laboratory for testing?

A.: Weaver said it’s standard to check witnesses for signs of struggle. “We do that as a precaution,” he said.

The sample was not submitted to a lab for analysis. Once the death was ruled a suicide, there was no reason to submit the DNA for testing to the state police crime lab, which has a backlog of samples awaiting analysis, Weaver said.

Q.: Why did Weaver list the 6-foot-2 Cornell as being 5-foot-10?

A.: “I don’t actually measure the bodies; that’s for the medical examiner to do,” Weaver said. “It’s just an estimate.”