Monroe County Medical Examiner E. Hunt Scheuerman, MD on Thursday released his preliminary objective report following the autopsy of Charles Eimers.
Charles Eimers, 61, tourist for a day in our island Paradise, died on Thanksgiving day while in the hands of Key West police officers. The arrest took place on South Beach in front of multiple witnesses who reported a scene of violence: tasers being used repeatedly on a man handcuffed facedown in the sand and tackled by 5 or 6 police officers. Eyes bloodshot, face blue, nose and mouth caked up with sand, Eimers stopped breathing and became limp before dying a week later at Lower Keys Medical Center after being taken off life support.
Initial police department communications indicated that Eimers had suddenly collapsed and had doubtless died due to a pre-existing heart condition, which somehow led a doctor at the hospital to declare Eimers’ passing a death from “natural causes”.
This initial explanation is now clearly contradicted by the preliminary autopsy report. Ten ribs were fractured, the neurons in his brain had turned red from lack of oxygen, his trachea showed abnormal reddening. The report also reveals that the airways within the lungs exhibited “linings of tan exudate”. Exudate is a liquid produced by the body in response to tissue damage. Many have speculated that Eimers suffocated in the sand. Could sand have caused tissue damage in his lungs, which would be one more piece of evidence pointing to asphyxiation?