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February 6, 2012

UPDATED: Woman injured over weekend dies; autopsy shows injuries consistent with fall

CULLMAN — A state forensics autopsy has concluded that a Cullman woman who died due to head trauma over the weekend, after being found unresponsive in the parking lot of her apartment complex Saturday morning, was likely caused by a fall.

Sheila Givens, 48, of Cullman, passed away late Saturday after her family made the decision to remove her from life support at UAB Hospital, where she had been hospitalized for injuries she sustained between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

“The preliminary autopsy was completed, and from that we believe the injures are consistent with a fall, rather than a crime having been committed,” Cullman Assistant Police Chief Craig Green said. “But, we have not yet ruled out that a possible crime has been committed, just that the injuries are more consistent with a fall versus a blunt force trauma.”

It will take at least four months for a full autopsy report to be completed by the forensic science office in Huntsville, and until then, Green said police will continue to try and piece together exactly what happened.

Ms. Givens was found early Saturday lying near her vehicle in the parking lot at Twin Willow apartments on Warnke Road in Cullman, where she lived alone. Police and emergency workers observed some blood on the ground near Ms. Givens, who had sustained head injuries. She was transported by ambulance to Cullman Regional Medical Center, and subsequently to UAB, where she was removed from life support late Saturday.

According to Green, her family worked with UAB physicians to ensure that, as an organ donor, Ms. Givens’ wishes could be honored before her body was transported to Hunstville for autopsy.

No suspects have been detained in relation to the incident. A male acquaintance of Ms. Givens, who lives in a separate apartment unit in the same complex, voluntarily spoke with police about his interaction with her on the Friday evening preceding her death. Police are not releasing his identity at this point, and say he is not currently considered a suspect.

Givens' obituary can be read here.

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