Coroner: No 2d Autopsy On Inmate

Posted: December 03, 1986

The Montgomery County coroner said yesterday that he does not plan to seek an additional autopsy on Graterford Prison inmate Gilberto Barretto in light of a state police investigation that has concluded his death was accidental.

Coroner Theodore A. Garcia had said Monday that, because of complaints from prison officials and the inmate's family, he was attempting to arrange a complete autopsy. Although Barretto had AIDS, a limited autopsy had indicated that he died from head injuries.

Yesterday, Garcia said, state police in Limerick, who had been investigating the death, informed him that they had ruled it accidental and had traced Barretto's injuries to a fall in the prison infirmary, where he was being treated for AIDS.

Barretto, 38, of Reading, was treated at Montgomery Hospital Nov. 1 for those injuries and returned to the prison the same day. Fifteen days later, he

lapsed into a coma at the prison and was returned to the hospital, where he died Nov. 24.

"Now I have a cause of death, and a manner of death, which I didn't have before," Garcia said. "State police say the man fell in the infirmary and hit the concrete floor, and his injuries are consistent with that. There is no need for an additional autopsy. The case is closed."

Garcia added that he still planned to speak with county commissioners about setting up a "contamination room" for conducting autopsies on AIDS patients. He said he also planned to discuss the possibility of sending such cases to the Philadelphia medical examiner's office, which he said is equipped with such a facility.

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