New information arises in Massingale investigation

Published 4:56 pm Monday, September 20, 2021

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A string of information has been uncovered in the death investigation of a Harlan County woman after a press release from the Kentucky State Police was sent to local media Monday morning.

Through the release from KSP Public Affairs Officer Shane Jacobs, information obtained by the Enterprise was confirmed. New information was also shared after an interview with Jacobs, following the release.

According to KSP, troopers responded to a complaint of an unresponsive female in Coldiron, who was transported to Harlan ARH by Life Guard ambulance and later transferred to Hazard ARH.

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The female was initially listed as a Jane Doe because she did not have any form of identification with her, but she was later identified as Kayla Massingale, 31, of Harlan. She was later pronounced dead on Sept. 2 at Hazard ARH, the press release said.

The details above were confirmed by the Enterprise through various agencies late last week.

KSP officials said an autopsy was performed at the State Medical Examiner’s Office, but no foul play is suspected in Massingale’s death.

The Perry County Coroner’s Office reported the autopsy report has not been completed as of Monday at 11:28 a.m. An open records request has been submitted as to obtain these reports once they are available.

Although Jacobs said an ambulance was dispatched to the scene in Coldiron on Aug. 27 at 6:32 p.m., the Enterprise is awaiting a response from Harlan ARH to confirm the time Massingale arrived at the hospital, as well as what time she departed for Hazard ARH.

Weather reports show Harlan County was partly cloudy on Aug. 27 and 28, and the Enterprise is working to determine if weather could have potentially prohibited Massingale from being transported by helicopter. The Enterprise is also awaiting a response on that matter from the hospital.

KSP shared that a second incident involving Massingale is also under investigation, when she reported a rape two days prior to her discovery on Aug. 27.

Reports to the Enterprise indicate that some of her personal belongings, including her car, are said to be missing. Jacobs said, at this time, he is unaware of her car being stolen or missing.

Jacobs also said KSP cannot release any information regarding how she was discovered.

This is an ongoing story. The Enterprise will provide updates as more information becomes available.