A New York woman who was declared brain-dead hours after she underwent a back-alley buttock enhancement surgery may have been the victim of a crime, NYPD officials said Tuesday, suggesting that arrests could be forthcoming.
31-year-old Latesha Bynum traveled to a residential building near Stuyvesant Town on July 15 to meet with a person or persons whom she paid to perform the procedure, the New York Daily News reported.
Just before midnight that same evening, Bynum called 911 to report chest pains and dizziness. She was transported to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Medical Center via ambulance, but by the time she arrived, she was already considered brain dead. She was removed from life support on Thursday and declared dead, just three days before her 32nd birthday.
Now, investigators are looking into Bynum’s case with the intention of uncovering any criminal wrongdoing.
“There is a strong possibility there is going to be arrests,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. “This happens, unfortunately, a couple times of year where we have these kinds of surgeries goen bad. These are not doctors. They should not be doing this.”
Upon searching Bynum’s apartment, police discovered a number of items that implied she had just gone under the knife.
“We found surgical supplies that were indicative of some kind of surgery being performed as well as drugs like lidocaine,” Boyce said. “We feel this is what happened – it was a botched plastic surgery. She was given some injections.”
While the city’s Medical Examiner is still reviewing the case as of Tuesday, the Bynum family is convinced that Latesha was the victim of a deadly scam.
“My daughter was murdered,” said Bertie Bynum, the victim’s mother. “I want to know: Why did they kill my baby? Why did they do that? They wasn’t supposed to do that.”
It is likely that “the injection went directly into a blood vessel and the material traveled to her heart, lungs and brain, which can cause immediate death,” said Dr. Matthew Schulman, a plastic surgeon who was not involved in Bynum’s death.