Causes of deaths released in murder-suicide — (The Topeka Capital-Journal)

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The Topeka Capital-Journal

Posted: June 19, 2012 – 7:55 am

By Aly Van Dyke THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL

The Shawnee County coroner has released the causes of deaths of a married couple whose bodies were found in their Tecumseh home May 29 in what authorities have determined to be a murder-suicide.

Carolyn Jackson, 52, died of asphyxiation, likely as a result of her face being pressed into the carpet from behind, said coroner Donald Pojman, a pathologist.

Her husband, Andrew Jackson Jr., 57, drowned himself in the bathroom attached to the couple’s bedroom.

Carolyn Jackson’s toxicology report came back negative, he said. Andrew Jackson’s report hadn’t been released as of Thursday, Pojman said, but his urine analysis came back positive for anti-depressants, which he was prescribed at the time.

Pojman said there was no evidence of a break-in or any signs that someone else was involved in the deaths. Only the bed and dresser in the couple’s bedroom, where Carolyn’s body was found, were disturbed.

“Everything at the scene points toward (Andrew as) the one who took (Carolyn’s) life,” Pojman said. “There is nothing to suggest at all that anyone else had any involvement in this.”

Pojman said Carolyn Jackson had trauma to the face and soft tissue hemorrhaging behind her airway in front of spine. The injuries indicate she died either of a choke hold from behind or from being held to the ground by a knee to the back of the neck, he said.

Pojman said he could disclose the causes of the deaths because the district attorney’s office has opted not to file any charges.

Shawnee County sheriff’s Lt. Jay Simecka declined to comment on the subject. He said the incident remains under investigation pending the toxicology report, which could take weeks or months.

“Until we get those reports back, it’s still an ongoing investigation,” Simecka said.

Law enforcement found the bodies of Carolyn and Andrew Jackson in the couple’s home, 4747 S.E. 21st St., about 7:25 p.m. May 29 — exactly one week after their 30th wedding anniversary. The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office on June 4 deemed the deaths a murder-suicide, listing Andrew Jackson as a suspect in his wife’s death.

A joint funeral for the couple was held June 8 at Central Church of Christ, 1250 S.W. College.

Shawnee County District Court records indicate the couple had been going through a divorce.

Carolyn Jackson filed a petition for separate maintenance on March 16, citing incompatibility. On March 19, Andrew Jackson was issued a temporary restraining order pertaining only to the sale or disposition of the pair’s shared property. A separation hearing had been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. July 5.

Records indicate the couple had three adult children.

Andrew Jackson Jr. was a retired veteran receiving benefits from the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.

Carolyn Jackson had been employed by the General Services Administration for six years and previously worked several years for two other federal agencies, said Angela Brees, public affairs officer for the GSA Heartland Region. Carolyn Jackson — who is remembered by co-workers as a tenacious, sassy, smart woman, boss and friend — last came to work May 25.

Aly Van Dyke can be reached at (785) 295-1270 or aly.vandyke@cjonline.com.
Follow Aly on Twitter @alyvandyke.