- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 5-year-old Iowa girl found dead in a river in 2005 sustained several slash and stab wounds, including a large gash across her neck, a former state medical examiner testified Friday in the trial of the man accused of killing her.

Prosecutors finished presenting their case with testimony from Dr. Jerri McLemore, previously with the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office, in the case against Casey Frederiksen, who is charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault. Prosecutors allege Frederiksen, 35, sexually abused Evelyn Miller, the daughter of his ex-girlfriend, and stabbed her to death while baby-sitting her.

The girl’s body was found in the Cedar River five days after she was reported missing.

Testimony began Friday with dog trainer Carol Lynn Gardiner, who described how Frederiksen’s scent was detected near the river. She also said Frederiksen and Noel Miller, Evelyn’s mother, wouldn’t let police officers into their apartment.

Frederiksen’s sister, Brandi Hoffman, also took the stand, and she testified about conversations she had with her brother in which his stories about what happened the night Evelyn disappeared changed. Past testimony reflected Hoffman’s, who said Frederiksen initially said he didn’t hear two men knock on the door late that night. She said he later told her he saw one of the men holding a knife to the girl.

More officials involved in the investigation testified to describe their process in examining evidence. They also said they couldn’t find DNA linking Evelyn to a man Frederiksen alleges was responsible for her death.

McLemore performed the autopsy on the girl, and he said Evelyn died of sharp-force injuries, several of which might have been fatal. He said a slash across the girl’s neck was “a gaping wound” that ultimately would have led her to bleed to death. And bruises across her body were essentially the same color, McLemore said, meaning they likely all happened at the same time.

The trial is set to continue Monday.

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