UPDATE: Family of Dakota James disputes cause of death, hires independent pathologist

Raymond Arke | News Editor

The family of deceased Duquesne student Dakota James is disputing the cause of death as announced by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner, reported WPXI, Pittsburgh’s NBC affiliate, on May 26. This comes one day after the Medical Examiner announced the cause of death as accidental drowning.

The family hired Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist and former Allegheny County coroner, to launch his own independent review of the evidence in James’ case, WPXI said.

Wecht is well known for being a leading critic of the Warren Commission’s findings on the assassination of President John Kennedy.

He is also connected to Duquesne University. Wecht’s personal website lists that he is an adjunct professor in the Duquesne School of Law, the School of Pharmacy and the School of Health Sciences.

He is also the chair of the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, which was established in the Duquesne School of Law in 2000.

Dakota James, 23, who was pursuing a Master’s in Business Education at Duquesne, had been missing from January 25 to March 6, when his body was found in the Ohio River.