RALLY FOR JUSTICE FOR FATIMA at the NOW Conference
Friday, June 24th, 1:00 - 2:00
Embassy Suites Tampa - USF/Near Busch Gardens
3705 Spectrum Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33612 2011
Medical Examiner insider information may provide catalyst for Florida Medical Examiners Commission to properly investigate the Tampa death case that looks like an honor killing.
At the direction of Bruce A. Hyma, M.D., Chairman of the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, Florida Family Association filed the below complaint with the Florida Medical Examiners Commission regarding the suspicious death of Fatima Abdallah.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiners ruled that a Palestinian woman killed herself by repeatedly beating her face against a coffee table.
An insider’s observations may prove to be very important to reopening this mishandled case. A member of the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s staff has informed several people that the medical examiner’s finding of this death as an accident caused great controversy and distress among many staff members because they could not believe that this case was ruled an accident.
It is Florida Family Association’s opinion that given the circumstances of Fatima Abdallah’s personal life and the facts surrounding her death that there is a need to reopen this case to fully investigate Fatima Abdullah’s death to determine if her demise was truly an accident or honor killing. Click here to read the full report on this private investigation of the death of Fatima Abdallah.
Over 4,000 concerned citizens sent emails urging the Tampa Police Department and State Attorney Mark Ober to reopen this case. However, it appears that these officials have ignored the public outcry because it is politically expedient to coverup the potential Islamic cultural involvement.
The Florida Family Association filed the following complaint with the Florida Medical Examiners Commission.
COMPLAINT FILED WITH MEDICAL EXAMINERS COMMISSION
Glenn Hopkins, Bureau Chief
Medical Examiners Commission
Re: Hillsborough County Medical Examiners Case No. 09-05161
Dear Mr. Hopkins, June 23,2011
Florida Family Association hired a private investigator to look into the suspicious death of Fatima Abdallah because it was difficult to comprehend how she could have killed herself by repeatedly beating her nose onto a coffee table. It is also difficult to comprehend how the injuries reported in her autopsy (back of the head, broken ribs, hemorrhage around ribs, etc.) could have occurred during such “self infliction” or alleged posthumous CPR.
The family knowingly left Fatima dead for 2 ½ hours before they called 911, gave two different stories of how she died, ushered the alleged only witness to her death out of the country just days after her death and treated her horribly before she died are just a few of the facts that make it highly unlikely that her death was an accident as the Hillsborough County Medical Examiners’ office has determined.
The Tampa Police Department has declined to reopen the investigation based upon the Hillsborough County Medical Examiners finding of cause of death.
Our private investigator and research team found numerous inconsistencies, errors and omissions with the Medical Examiner Report, Tampa Police General Offense Report, and 911 Dispatch Call Hardcopy Report. These inconsistencies are itemized in the INVESTIGATION FINDINGS section below. The Tampa Police General Offense Report, Medical Examiner Report, 911 Dispatch Call Hardcopy report, Prestige Investigations, Inc. reports and Crime scene photos are all found online at the links referenced at the bottom of http://floridafamily.org/full_article.php?article_no=49
A member of the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s staff has informed us that the medical examiner’s finding of this death as an accident caused great controversy and distress among many staff members because they could not believe that this case was ruled an accident.
It is Florida Family Association’s opinion that given the circumstances of Fatima Abdallah’s personal life and the facts surrounding her death that there is a need to reopen this case to fully investigate Fatima Abdullah’s death to determine if her demise was truly an accident or honor killing.
Thousands upon thousands of concerned citizens have already sent emails urging the Tampa Police Department and State Attorney Mark Ober to reopen this case. These officials have ignored the public outcry.
We hope that your office will not ignor this case as Tampa officials have because of the ramifications of dealing with an alleged violent crime that appears to be motivated by cultural codes of conduct.
Therefore, we respectfully request that the Medical Examiners Commission review this case.
I look forward to your response.
Florida Family Association
Our investigation revealed the following about Fatima Abdallah’s personal life. Fatima:
- Lived in the same household as did three related Arab named families.
- Was allegedly divorced by her cousin husband because she could not have children and he married another cousin.
- Allegedly brought shame to her Muslim family because of her divorce according to neighbors.
- Was allegedly not permitted to return to her homeland in the Middle East by the family.
- Was allegedly not permitted to drive on her own even though she was licensed.
- Was allegedly the subject of many arguments with other family members.
- Was allegedly treated badly and had unthinkable things done to her by her older brother.
Our investigation revealed the following about Fatima Abdallah’s death:
- Family members claimed that she killed herself by repeatedly slamming her head onto a coffee table and the floor. The Tampa Police Department accepted this claim as the cause of death. Tampa Rescue said she looked like someone beat her up and disputed the probability that she could have killed herself in that manner. In addition to head, face and lip injuries she had several lower fractured ribs with hemorrhage in the area which is normal in cases of blunt trauma to the rib cage
- Five family members waited nearly 2 ½ hours before calling 911.
- The call to 911 dispatch gave a completely different version of what happened to Fatima and her state of mind than was reported by detectives on the scene. The same family member gave two different accounts.
- The Tampa Police Department:
1. Did not catch the fact that Muhammad called 911 dispatch and not his brother Ali as the TPD report states.
2. Did not catch the fact that Muhammad told 911 dispatch a different version of what happened to Fatima than he told detectives on the scene.
3. Relied upon a family member instead of an independent translator to translate the account of the only alleged witness to Fatima’s death. That witness left the country just days after Fatima died.
4. Did not verify the travel of one of Fatima’s brothers from Ft. Myers to Tampa which was the assumed reason for the 2 ½ hour delay before anyone in the family called 911.
5. Did not properly account or resolve how Fatima’s lower right ribs 4 thru 9 were broken and other injuries were sustained to her face and mouth.
6. Did not fully investigate or identify blood evidence on a large shirt, floor and stairs.
7. Did not interview neighbors.
8. General Offense report completed by various police personnel qualified the Cause of Death as “Homicide” and “Undetermined” and “Unexplained” but was reclassified to “Accident” by Medical Examiner.
- The Medical Examiner:
1. Final determination of Cause of Death that the “Decedent fell and struck her head” is inconsistent with the Tampa Police Department General Offense Report and 911 dispatch detail descriptions of the death.
2. Determined the fracture of right ribs 4 thru 9 was due to CPR even though these ribs do not come into play during CPR and even though Tampa Rescue states that they did not perform CPR.
- The “accidental cause of death” that Fatima Abdallah allegedly “slammed her head into a wood coffee table (and carpeted floor), multiple times” until she died is difficult to comprehend. GO15. Lt. Scott Ashley with Tampa Rescue #21, Cross Creek Blvd-New Tampa who was interviewed by Prestige Investigations, Inc. said “He did remember the call and stated that when he got to the scene he observed the decedent and thought that ‘someone had beat the crap out of her.” Lt. Ashley also said that “it would be very difficult for someone to hit their heads hard enough to cause loss of consciousness. It would be similar to someone stopping their breathing and causing their death.” PI04063.
- It is difficult to accept that the damage done to the coffee table shown in crime scene photographs DSC_508, DSC_509 and DSC_510 was self inflicted or accidental.
- Five family members waited 2 ½ hours before calling 911. The mother, three brothers and sister-in-law allegedly knew of Fatima’s injuries but waited 2 ½ hours until Ali A. Alkahla allegedly arrived from Ft. Myers to call 911. However, the 911 Dispatch (DIS1) report states that Muhammad called 911 not Ali as pointed out below.
- The TPD GO report states that Nafish A. Kahla, Fatima’s mother, did not call 911 because she allegedly did not know how to use the phone yet was reported to have allegedly had numerous conversations with her sons. Muhammad Hmeid “stated that she (Nafish) did not call 911 because she doesn’t know how to use the phone very well.” GO19. However, the decedent’s mother called her sons, some several times. Ali Alkahla “He advised he was in Ft. Myers Fl.. visiting relatives when he received a phone call from his mother on his cell phone.” GO20. Muhammad Hmeid “continued to receive phone calls but that he still was not sure what was going on.”
- TPD did not verify Ali A. Alkahla’s travel from Ft. Myers which was crucial to the time line credibility of the family waiting 2 ½ half hours to call 911. The TPD GO report states that the family did not call 911 until Ali A. Alkahla allegedly arrived 2 ½ hours after the deceased lay lifeless on the carpet. “No one challenged the statement as to who the son was visiting in Ft. Myers, FL. Who did they visit and what is their name, address and phone number?” PI05053. TPD did not verify Ali’s statements.
- TPD did not verify that phone calls were made from the home to Ali A. Alkahla or from brothers to brothers during that critical 2 ½ hour period. The TPD GO mentions no confirmation or attempt to confirm this activity.
- The 911 dispatch (GO16) (DIS1) was given an entirely different account of the (1) deceased’s frame of mind, (2) how the deceased was discovered and (3) the circumstances that lead to her death compared to the accounts given by Muhammad Hmeid and Nafish A. Kahla (GO20). GO16 reports “Per the dispatch details, the decedent was discovered unconscious and unresponsive within the family shared residence. The call details also noted that the decedent had been cleaning, and may have passed out due to cleaning product fumes.” (1) The dispatch call states the deceased had the responsible presence of mind to be cleaning the house which is significantly different from Muhammad’s account of her acting mentally unstable. (2) The dispatch call states she was discovered unconscious while Muhammad states his mother witnessed her self inflict injury. (3) The dispatch account alleges the deceased passed out from cleaning product fumes while Muhammad’s version alleges that she repeatedly beat herself to death on the coffee table and the floor. There appears to be no attempt by TPD in the GO to reconcile these conflicting accounts. This gross disparity in accounts also went unnoted in the TPD GO report.
- The TPD GO20 report states that Ali A. Alkahla called 911 but the 911 Dispatch (DIS1) states that it was Muhammad Hmeid who called. According to TPD GO20 “He (Ali Alkahla) did not know when his sister stopped breathing but when he got home and went inside he could see his sister was not breathing and called 911.” However, the first entry on the CAD Call Hardcopy (DIS1) states “Aug-16-2009 21:05:07 – HMEID, MUHAMMAD COMPL’S SISTER DOWN NOT CONCS UNK IF BREATHING HE JUST FOUND HER.” Tampa Police detectives overlooked this discrepancy.
- The account of Fatima’s death attributed to Muhammad Hmeid in TPD 911 Dispatch Report (DIS1) is entirely different than the account reported by TPD in GO18-20. The above referenced account given to dispatch of Fatima passing out due to fumes from cleaning products was reported as given by Muhammad yet his account and the account he gave for his mother in GO18-20 Muhammad is reported to have said that Fatima repeatedly beat her head against the coffee table and floor until she died. Tampa Police missed the two different accounts that Muhammad gave of how Fatima died.
- TPD did not rely upon an independent translator to interview the only alleged witness to Fatima’s death. Nafish A. Kahla, the decedents’ mother allegedly spoke no English. TPD relied entirely upon her son, Muhammad, to translate Nafish’s alleged account of her daughter’s death GO19. TPD made no attempt to have an independent translator interview Nafish A. Kahla. Nafish’s alleged account was basically a repeat of Muhammad’s account GO18 and GO19.
- The mother left the country just days after Fatima’s death. “Immediately after the funeral, the mother was sent out of the country. It was believed that she was possibly sent back to Palestine or Israel.” PI05053. Reporting this fact does not mean to imply that the mother hurt Fatima. However, it would appear that she may have a different story to tell if an independent translator questioned her.
- Muhammad’s account of Fatima’s death is much more detailed than one would expect from someone who only knew what happened as described by someone else i.e. his mother. In fact, Muhammad gives far more details of Fatima’s death than his mother gave. GO18-20.
- The TPD GO report contains varying and inconsistent “Causes of Death.”
1. GO15 states “Caused by Undetermined." Detective Durkin.
2. GO24 states “OFFENSE: Homicide.” CST Matthew Evans.
3. GO25 states “OFFENSE: Unexplained Death.” CST Shelby Garman.
- The deceased suffered broken ribs which were not properly explained or accounted for in the TPD GO report. Fatima’s lower right ribs were broken. The medical examiner attributes broken ribs to CPR but Tampa Rescue says that no CPR was performed. The Medical Examiner report states “There are rib fractures from cardiopulmonary resuscitation. ON the right side, ribs 4 and 5 are fractured and … ribs 5 – 9 are fractured.” ME3. However, Lt. Scott Ashley stated “No CPR was performed by Tampa Rescue as the decedent was already dead and had been for some time.” Lt. Ashley was asked to comment on the broken ribs after reviewing the Autopsy Report. Lt. Ashley advised “CPR injuries usually occur around the sternum (breast bone) and in the anterior aspect. The fractures of ribs 5-9 in the posterior aspect would not be common of injury from CPR.” PI04063. “The intercostal muscles showed signs of hemorrhage in the area of these broken ribs. The intercostal muscles are located in between each rib. Hemorrhage would be normal in cases of blunt trauma to the rib cage.” PI04063.
- Medical Examiner’s determination of “Manner of Death” is inconsistent with the TPD GO report accounts from witnesses. The Medical Examiner’s determination that the “Manner of Death” was “Accident (Decedent Fell and struck her head on table)” (GO11 and ME) is inconsistent with the TPD GO report accounts from Muhammad (GO18-19) and Nafish (GO19-20) which state that the deceased deliberately and repeatedly slammed her head onto a coffee table and the carpet floor.
- The fine mist of blood splatter shown in crime scene photographs appears to be inconsistent with the TPD GO report witness accounts that all traumas were self inflicted over the coffee table. Crime scene photographs DSC_531, DSC_536 and DSC_537 show a distinctive “mist” or very light blood covering a fairly large area of carpet. This blood mist over a large area would more likely result from trauma to the head forcing the head to rapidly rotate than it would be the result of self slamming of head on and over the coffee table.
- Blood spots on a large (L) brown sweatshirt are unexplained. (PI05053) TPD collected Item 15 (GO25) depicted in crime scene photographs DSC_620 thru DSC_635 which contained spots of blood. All photos are llinked at bottom of this letter. The spots which are diminished in appearance look like they have been wiped in attempts to clean. TPD did not identify the owner of the shirt, determine if this was blood spatter versus blood transfer, determine whose blood it was or investigate how the blood got on the shirt. This shirt must have caught a crime scene technician’s interest since sixteen photos were taken. It is unlikely that the deceased wore a large shirt of this kind given her petite size and the matching tight clothes that she is shown wearing in crime scene photograph DSC_554.
- Blood spots on one stair step were not explained. How did blood spots land on the fifth step down from the top of the stairs as shown in crime scene photographs DSC_492 thru DSC_497? All photos are linked at the bottom of this letter. The spots which are diminished in appearance look like they have been wiped and smeared in attempts to clean. Could the drops in that location have occurred from an attempt to move the deceased’s body? If the blood was transferred by foot shouldn’t more blood be found somewhere on the first four steps from the top? Whose blood is it and why is it only in this one spot?
- Fatima’s family would not let her return to Brazil or the Middle East (GO19) or leave the house on her own (PI04162). Fatima was primarily confined to the home where she was the subject of constant arguments with several members of the family (PI0421).
- There is no mention if TPD interviewed neighbors in an attempt to see if anyone heard, saw or knew something related to Fatima’s death. (PI05053). Prestige Investigations, Inc. interviewed neighbors as reported in PI0416 and PI0421.
- Prestige Investigations, Inc. interviewed the neighbors and learned:
1. A neighbor expressed concern about discussing this matter because the people next door are Muslims and she doesn’t want any trouble. PI 04212.
2. A neighbor stated that the deceased married her cousin but he divorced her because she could not have children. PI04212.
3. At some point in time, (1) Sarah (deceased’s American name) had told her (a neighbor) that her (the deceased’s) older brother, (name not mentioned), treated her badly and had done unthinkable things to her. The deceased asked the neighbor not to speak about it. PI04211.
4. Tahane, the deceased’s sister-in-law, argued a lot with the deceased. PI04161. This was also the case with the mother.
5. A neighbor said that deceased was divorced and that was shameful in the Muslim family, that her father did not live in the house and that the son Ali was the eldest son and he was the one who protected the honor of the family in his fathers stead. PI04161.
6. A neighbor said that the family did not allow the deceased to drive even though she had a valid drivers license. PI04162.
7. Immediately after the funeral the mother was sent out of the country possibly to Palestine or Israel. PI05053.
- Muhammad Abdallah Hmeid was arrested on February 6, 2010 for “aggravated assault – using a deadly weapon” according to Temple Terrace Police Report number 2010-00530. This document is labeled Arrest. Muhammad allegedly struck a man in the head with the butt of his 9mm hand gun during an altercation causing the man’s head to bleed extensively. The man allegedly struck in the head sued Muhammad Hmeid on June 10, 2010 in Hillsborough County Circuit Court Case 10-CA-011943. The civil suit is open and copies of the online Clerk of the Circuit Court report are included with the Arrest report.
- Prestige Investigations, Inc. summarized “ …there is a glaring absence of any suspicion, from either report (TPD and ME reports), that the decedent could have possibly been a victim of an assault that eventually caused her death. The absence of any suspicion that the decedent had been assaulted is difficult to understand. Many questions remain that should be resolved. A medical review of the autopsy report with the photos of the decedent may give a professional medical view as to what may have happened to her.” PI05054.