An autopsy Monday revealed that an expectant mother found on the floor of her Terrytown apartment late Saturday with several stab wounds actually died from strangulation.
Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said none of the three stab wounds found on the body of 23-year-old Katherine Martinez, who was in her third trimester, was fatal.
While Martinez’s baby was not struck during the stabbing, it was not able to survive the attack.
What remained unknown Monday was whether Martinez was stabbed first then strangled, Cvitanovich said.
“There was obviously a struggle,” he said. “Did he stab her posthumously after he killed her? Maybe. Or did he strangle her? I don’t know which came first.”
Regardless of the sequence of events, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident as a homicide and feticide, said Col. John Fortunato, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
Martinez’s mother made the grisly discovery just before midnight Saturday.
Martinez was supposed to pick up her mother from the airport Saturday night but never arrived, Fortunato said.
Her mother, in a state of concern, called a friend, who drove her to Martinez’s apartment in the 600 block of Whitney Avenue just before midnight.
Her mother found the door locked, and the friend apparently kicked in the door, which was bolted shut.
Once inside the unit, Martinez’s mother discovered her daughter’s lifeless body on the kitchen floor.
Investigators have not identified a suspect or motive in Martinez’s death.
Anyone with information is asked to call homicide Detective Gabe Faucetta at (504) 364-5300 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.