Los Angeles Coroner’s Office destroyed evidence in the homicide investigation of Michael Cormier

I’m Press Graye, an investigative writer and filmmaker. The Breitbart Coroner is a true crime investigation that examines my journey into a Los Angeles County Coroner’s Technician, Michael Cormier, and his unsolved death by arsenic poisoning.

Confidential Sources, eyewitnesses, a retired FBI Agent, and family members of Michael Cormier provide testimony and physical evidence to prove that Michael performed a private autopsy on conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart. They believe Michael’s death is a cover-up that resulted in evidence destroyed by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Michael Cormier performed a private autopsy on Andrew Breitbart alongside Dr. Posey of Glenoaks Pathology Group on March 4, 2012 and gave his brother, Ed Cormier, Breitbart’s toe tag.

On April 20, 2012, the same day Andrew Breitbart’s preliminary autopsy report was released, Michael Cormier died from a military-grade arsenic. Michael dying the same day as the Andrew Breitbart autopsy release spawned multiple conspiracy theories.

Michael Cormier

Gasping for air; stomach pains that rival any sword or dagger; confusion. These are a few descriptions of how arsenic affects the body. This is what Michael Cormier experienced in the days leading to his untimely death.

What happened to the stomach contents that contained the military-grade arsenic? The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office destroyed the evidence before it could be tested properly by their lab or a third-party laboratory.

When Ed Cormier inquired about Michael Cormier’s stomach contents, he was informed that the doctors working on the case were instructed they couldn’t test the arsenic samples.

Dr. Cyrus Rangan

Cyrus Rangan M.D./Medical Toxicologist stated to Chief Medical Examiner Lakshmanan in the Forensic Consultant’s Report Form 13:

Upon initial review of this case, I had inquired as to whether the arsenic levels could be speciated, to determine the relative contributions of trivalent and pentavalent arsenic to his total arsenic level. 

In addition, I had acquired as to whether the stomach contents could be further tested to determine the form of arsenic salt that was detected. These inquiries were an effort to characterize the decedent’s exposure specifically, with the prospect that a potential source of arsenic might be determinable. 

I was informed that these advanced tests would not be possible. Therefore, my conclusion based on available data is that the decedent died from severe acute arsenic poisoning of unknown origin.”


Ed Cormier and Dr. Ortiz conducted a conversation about the case. We have provided two minutes of an audio recording transcript. This snippet contains Ed inquiring about why Michael’s blood and stomach contents had not been tested.

Ed Cormier“I’m just wondering Dr. Ortiz, you mention the word the lab was inefficient…. (stutters) I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying here.”

Dr. Ortiz“Well, I’m saying the lab, they either didn’t have the resources, or they didn’t want to do it. Uhh, so in that sense — the lab was not efficient, they were not able to answer our question. It was all, it answered the questions that already the laboratory from the hospital had asked.”

Ed Cormier: “We’re puzzled by the fact. That, umm, there was enough arsenic in Mike’s stomach still, that, uh, we felt that there should’ve been some test that could be performed to determine if this is a inorganic arsenic or an organic arsenic. That would narrow down the search immensely. Are there still samples available from Michael that can be tested or retested?”

Dr. Ortiz: “I have to check, Mr. Cormier. I can give you a call back on Monday. I have to check if we have something. Uhh.”

Ed Cormier: “I only have a couple more questions. One is, and it actually has to do with Dr. Rangan, so this might not be a fair question to you, and you could tell me if I need to speak with Dr. Rangan or if I could about it. But Dr. Rangan said that he inquired if whether the arsenic levels could be speciated in order to determine the relevant contributions of trivalent and pentavalent arsenic to his total arsenic level. Now he said he inquired, but then after he gives this statement, he never gives an answer as to…”

Dr. Ortiz: “He inquired. He got the same answer I got, we can’t do it. We cannot do it. There’s no way we can do it”.

Ed Cormier: “Yes. Yeah, because in the last sentence of this paragraph he says “I was informed that these advanced tests would not be possible” And my question is, who told him these advanced tests would not be possible, and why? Why were these advanced tests not possible?”

Dr. Ortiz: Well, Mr. Cormier; I don’t know exactly which person from the lab told Dr. Rangan that statement, but that’s… uhh that’s what we were told. Him and myself… by the laboratory supervisor… Mr. Dan Anderson… Anderson was the one who told him he could not find anyone who could do that, and sorry we can’t do that.

Sometimes we want to believe that there is no evil that seeps through our Government. We live within the confines of political agendas while ignoring the steps taken to achieve them. 

The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office is part of the government structure; its actions are a direct result of the political affiliations that dominate the West Coast.

Former Chief Medical Examiner for the county of Los Angeles, Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran approached Michael Cormier’s case like it was an overdose on Skid Row. A poisoning death, especially arsenic, is rare – plus the close proximity to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office should’ve helped to solve Michael Cormier’s death, it had the opposite effect.

Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran

How rare are poisoning deaths?


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