Leslie Brill Meserole continues to make slow progress in obtaining official information that could be relevant to the death of her daughter, Amanda Wienckowski, more than five years ago.
On Monday, State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Chimes heard Meserole’s request for information about Antoine Garner, who she believes has more knowledge than anyone else about how and why her daughter’s body was found in a trash tote in 2009, weeks after her family reported her missing.
Wienckowski, 20, a drug user, also had been working as a prostitute. Garner told police after her body was found near his home that he had hired Wienckowski for sex and she came to his house on Dec. 5, 2008 – the last time she was seen – and that she left that same night.
Her death was ruled an accidental overdose by the Erie County medical examiner, but a pathologist hired by Meserole later reported she believed the young woman was strangled.
Garner was never charged in connection with Wienckowski’s death, but he is serving an 18-year prison term on convictions for the rape of a 16-year-old Buffalo girl in 2008 and 2009, a June 2011 choking and assault case, and a July 2011 Buffalo home-invasion armed robbery.
Meserole has been seeking records in connection with his incarceration – who his visitors were and who he has talked to on the phone. Those Freedom of Information requests so far have been denied.
Chimes on Monday instructed Assistant County Attorney Jeremy C. Toth, representing the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, to work with Meserole, who is acting as her own attorney for financial reasons, to find what records are legally available to her, so her requests, if justified, can be accommodated.
Two weeks ago, Meserole succeeded in getting a box of records about her daughter’s case from the Buffalo Police Department.
She has said she is considering filing a wrongful death suit against Garner – as part of her ongoing effort to learn what exactly happened to her daughter. She has until next spring to decide whether to take that action.