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Autopsy shows suffocation in exorcism death

AP, via the Houston Chronicle, USA
Feb. 4, 2008
www.chron.com

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Tuesday February 5, 2008

ODESSA — A woman whose husband said died while he was performing an exorcism on her suffocated, officials said on Monday.

Susan Kay Clark was apparently not strangled, Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson said of results of a preliminary autopsy that showed she died of suffocation.

Jan David Clark, 60, of Odessa, was arrested Friday after authorities went to his home and found his wife’s body wrapped in a sheet with a cross and sword on top of it on the floor of the master bathroom.

Jan David Clark told investigators he had his wife pinned on the floor of the bathroom when she died. Clark said he was trying to exorcise demons from her body when they entered him and caused her to die, probable-cause documents say.

No pillows were found in the bathroom, Donaldson said.

A woman who answered the phone on Monday at the Odessa home of Susan Clark’s daughter, Rhonda Carrigan, said the family wished to be left alone.

Jan David Clark has been charged with murder and remained in the Ector County jail Monday on $300,000 bail. He has requested an attorney be appointed to represent him, Donaldson said.

Authorities went to the Clarks’ home before dawn Friday after being told that Clark had called a friend and said his 59-year-old wife was dead.

A full autopsy report on Susan Clark is pending by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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