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Celina Cass death ruled a homicide

New Hampshire Sunday News

September 22. 2011 3:17PM


WEST STEWARTSTOWN - After further investigation and receiving toxicology results, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Jennie V. Duval, M.D., has ruled Celina Cass's manner of death to be a homicide.

While Dr. Duval also has determined the cause of death of Celina Cass, that result is not being made public at this juncture, according to the Attorney General's Office.

"The premature public disclosure of Cass's cause of death could have an impact on the integrity of the investigation in a negative manner," authorities said. "The investigation into the facts and circumstances of Celina Cass's murder remains active."

Celina Cass' grandmother told the New Hampshire Union Leader she was notified the 11-year-old girl's death will now officially be classified a homicide.

Celina's body was found in the Connecticut River not far from her West Stewartstown home on Aug. 1, the culmination of a massive weeklong search. Officials have insisted since that Celina's death was "suspicious."

Celina's grandmother, Marcia Laro of Columbia, said the Attorney General's Office called Thursday at about 11 a.m. to tell them Celina's death is now definitely a homicide.

Laro said there was no indication that the state is any closer to making an arrest in Celina's death.

"They did call from the Attorney General's Office and say they do have the autopsy back and it is definitely a homicide," Laro said Thursday afternoon.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane E. Young wouldn't say if she met with Celina's mother, Louisia Noyes, and Celina's sister, Kayla, 13, on Thursday at the Coos County attorney's office in Lancaster.

"I will tell you it is not uncommon for us to meet with them. We do so on a regular basis," Young said. "We are in regular contact with Celina's family."

Laro said she has known all along that Celina's death was a homicide, and said she and her husband are upset at the little information they receive. They are caring for Celina's father, Adam Laro, who is recovering from a heart problem.

"We knew all along. You don't find little girl wrapped in a blanket in the river and not call it a homicide," Laro said. "My husband (Walter) and I are ready to break. My son has just about had it."

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