LYNCHBURG, Va. -- At a press conference Thursday, the Lynchburg Police Department announced that Jamisha Gilbert died of hypothermia and that the effects of marijuana smoking contributed to her death, but to unknown degree.
Police say dash cam video showed at 1:55 am on Nov. 29, a black female was running away from downtown into direction of 460. The female appeared to be wearing dark colored pants, which matched portions of clothing that Jamisha was wearing. Investigators say there was no one else on the video and no evidence of the girl being chased or being followed in a vehicle.
Police said in reviewing all of the evidence, it showed Gilbert was heading in direction of Route 460. Gilbert’s body was found in the woods naked four days later, police say. Law enforcement had to use chainsaws to cut path to her body and there was no indication Gilbert’s body was dragged there. The autopsy report showed Gilbert had no internal injuries and no disease. There was no sign of sexual assault.
The medical exam showed Gilbert had multiple abrasions from face to bottom of her feet along with hundreds of scratch marks. Toxicology results showed a small amount of pot in Gilbert’s system. No other substances were found, investigators say.
Blood toxicology showed that THC in Gilbert’s system, which investigators say may have psychoactive side effects providing an altered perception of time or acute psychosis not limited to paranoid delusions or disorganized thinking could last minutes to hours. The cause of death was ruled to be hypothermia, investigators say.
Gilbert’s consumption of marijuana likely contributed to her death, but investigators say they aren’t certain to what degree. The manner of death was ruled an accident. On the nights that Gilbert was missing, the temperatures dropped to between 17 and 18 degrees, too cold for someone to survive for an extended amount of time.
Based on the results of the investigation, there is no evidence of criminal activity, and no evidence that any of the three young men had a callous disregard for life by passing a marijuana joint to smoke, investigators say.