McALESTER, Okla. -- A leg found after the Oklahoma City bombing did not match any of the known 168 victims, the state medical examiner testified yesterday.
In grisly testimony at bombing conspirator Terry Nichols's state murder trial, Dr. Fred Jordan described the injuries suffered by the bombing victims, including crushed chests and broken and severed limbs.
Nichols's lawyer, Barbara Bergman, pressed Jordan for details about the unidentified leg, indicating it may be important to the defense.
Jordan said that the leg, pulled from debris over a month after the April 1995 bombing, may have belonged to a woman but that the victim's identity is unknown. ''This is a mystery to which I don't have the answer," he said.
He said homeless people frequented the area around the federal building. He said the leg was clean-shaven, leading anthropologists to conclude it belonged to a woman, possibly of mixed race. ''It took us years to come to that conclusion," Jordan said.
The lawyers for bombing coconspirator Timothy McVeigh suggested at his trial that the leg belonged to the real bomber. Nichols's defense lawyers say McVeigh was aided by other coconspirators and Nichols was set up to take the blame.
Members of Nichols's jury appeared uncomfortable as Jordan described the physical trauma the victims suffered. Nichols looked at the medical charts as they were displayed on television monitors, but showed no emotion.
One victim was 1-year-old Baylee Almon, whose photograph in the arms of firefighter Chris Fields came to symbolize the horror of the bombing. Jordan said Baylee suffered an extensive skull fracture and died quickly.
She was one of 19 children who died, most in a day-care center on the second floor.
The body of another victim, Kathryn Elizabeth Ridley, 24, was recovered in a parking lot across the street. Jordan said Ridley suffered fourth-degree burns from the fireball caused by the blast.
Nichols, 49, is serving a life sentence for the deaths of eight federal law enforcement officers in the bombing. The state trial is for the deaths of the 160 other victims, one of whom was pregnant. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
McVeigh was executed in 2001.