An results of an autopsy just performed on a Florida A&M University drum major's body shows he was beaten so badly he suffered muscle damage only seen in victims of prolonged child abuse, torture or a car accident.
An autopsy has now been conducted on Florida's A&M band member, Robert Champion Jr,, who died on a bus going home from a football game, allegedly after a brutal hazing ritual.
Dr. Howard Oliver, a forensic pathologist says Robert Champion Jr.'s muscles were so injured that they leaked a protein called myoglobin in an amount that was too large for his kidneys to process and could have been the cause of his death, Oliver says this type of muscle damage is called rhabdomyolysis.
The New York Daily News says the autopsy report also points out that Champion had "purple-gray" bruises on his back and chest and internal bleeding into the tissues spread to his right upper arm. Lawrence Kobilinsky is a professor of forensic science at John Jay College in New York. He told CNN:
"These are extremely forceful blows that this kid took, all over his back and his arms and his shoulders". It's interesting that there is no trauma to the neck or no trauma to the head. It's interesting that they are avoiding those areas."
After reviewing the autopsy findings, Dr. Howard Oliver, a forensic pathologist who is a former medical examiner in the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, said,
"His muscles were beaten so badly that they were destroyed like you would see in a heart attack."
A few band members say Champion died after taking part in a rite of passage called "crossing Bus C." One member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that students
"walk from the front of the bus to the back of the bus backward while the bus is full of other band members, and you get beaten until you get to the back."
Toxicology reports found no evidence of drugs or alcohol on Champion's body. Any death involving hazing is a third-degree felony in Florida, but so far, no one has been charged. Police are reportedly questioning over 30 people in connection with the death.
The incident has restarted the debate over hazing and resulted in the longtime band director Julian White to be placed on administrative leave. There were signs that the University President,
Earlier this week, the A&M university board of trustees publicly reprimanded University President James Ammons for failing to do enough to stop the culture of hazing. But ultimately they decided that Ammons should keep his job, rejecting a call from Governor Rick Scott that he be suspended while the hazing death is investigated. There were reports that the board did not have a replacement President who could step into the job immediately.