William O. Ritchie, the former head of criminal investigations for the Washington, D.C., police, has begun raising questions regarding Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s Feb. 13 death.
“As a former homicide commander, I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia,” Ritchie wrote on Facebook on Feb. 14, according to The Washington Post.
Ritchie added that a non-homicide trained U.S. Marshal confirmed to a justice of peace that no foul play was observed in Scalia’s death. He also noted that the justice of peace pronounced death without being on the scene and without medical training.
“What medical proof exists of a myocardial Infraction?" Ritchie wrote. "Why not a cerebral hemorrhage?"
"How can the Marshal say, without a thorough post mortem, that [Scalia] was not injected with an illegal substance that would simulate a heart attack," he added.
Ritchie questioned whether or not the U.S. Marshal checked for a petechial hemorrhage under Scalia’s eyes or lips (which could suggest suffocation), or if he smelled Scalia’s breath for unusual odors (which could suggest poisoning). Ritchie added that he believes "there is something fishy going on" in Texas and surrounding Scalia's death.
On Feb. 15, a spokesperson for the marshals service said the marshals didn’t make a formal determination of death; rather, the county judge made the call. Scalia’s physician, Brian Monahan, said the Supreme Court Justice had a history of heart problems and high blood pressure, according to HNGN.
According to the manager of the El Paso funeral home where Scalia’s body was handled, Scalia’s family insisted that an autopsy not be performed, the Post notes.
Scalia, 79, was found dead in his room at a luxury hunting resort in Texas. Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without seeing the body, which is permissible under Texas law.
Guevara noted that before his death, Scalia suffered from several chronic conditions.