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Wienckowski family presents report to Common Council

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Buffalo: Wienckowski family presents report to Common Council
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Family and friends of a young woman, whose remains were found in a trash can four years ago, presented new findings to Buffalo Common Council Members Tuesday.

Amanda Wienckowski's family believes she was murdered and a new autopsy report has council members backing them up. They say the investigation into what really happened won't be taken off the council's agenda until Wienckowski's death is reexamined by the county.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Losing her voice, Leslie Brill was unable to speak before the Buffalo Common Council Tuesday.

Yet she says she's finally being heard.

"I am so pleased with what has happened to day. I know it's taken three years but it takes a bigger person to come forward and do this for Amanda," said Brill.

Plenty of people were able to speak out for her daughter, Amanda Wienckowski, who was found dead in January 2009.

"The real threat to Western New York is that every single person in Western New York knows that this girl was found frozen, naked in a garbage can with finger prints on her neck, and the District Attorney's not doing anything about it," said Kathy Weppner, a family friend.

The Erie County Medical Examiner ruled the death an accidental overdose. Tuesday, Wiencowski's family and friends presented another autopsy that said she was more likely strangled.

"The Medical Examiner's Office has proven itself unwilling to revisit its own techniques," said attorney Steve Cohen.

It's the second independent forensic pathologist to say the 20-year-old was murdered.

Common Council member Darius Pridgen believes the medical examiner should change her determination.

"If it was my daughter, if it was my kid, I'd be doing what I'm doing right now," said Pridgen, (D), Ellicott District Council Member.

The Erie County Legislature's Chairperson says the legislature will hold another public hearing.

"There are a lot of questions out here that can only be resolved either by talking with the medical examiner about the autopsy or maybe having the family ask these questions and their answer," said Betty Jean Grant, (D) Erie County Legislator.

The medical examiner was invited to Tuesday's meeting, but the County Health Commissioner notified the Common Council, in a letter, it would be inappropriate for her staff to attend the meeting.

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