The death of Veronica Corstorphine involved somebody else, State Forensic Pathologist Donald Ritchey told a Supreme Court jury in Launceston.
"It's my opinion that somebody elasde was involved in her death," he said.
Dr Ritchey is a key witness in the trial of Natalie Maher, 48, who has pleaded not guilty to the murder of her mother in Ms Corstorphine's South Launceston home on October 3, 2019.
READ MORE: Missing people named as boat search ramps up
He told Crown Prosecutor John Ransom that his opinion was a synthesis of information from his autopsy of Ms Corstorphine's body and observations from police body worn camera footage on the day her body was found on October 30, 2019.
Dr Ritchey's report concluded that the cause of death was undetermined because of decomposition. The Crown alleges Ms Maher smothered Ms Corstorphine with a pillow.
Defence counsel Evan Hughes has suggested that the cause of death could be suicide or natural causes.
Mr Ransom asked Dr Ritchey about factors that led him to believe someone else was involved. He said that the position of the body was important.
"She was supine and was obliquely oriented which did not look like she was sleeping," he said.
Her head was covered by a pillow although he agreed with a suggestion from Mr Hughes that it was possible the pillow had fallen off a stack of pillows on the bed. "I can't say that didn't happen," he said.
He said she was wearing clothes and had no footwear. Clothing was bunched up around her neck. Dr Ritchey said the most important factor was that her arms were flexed with her hands adjacent to her head.
Asked by Mr Ransom about a scenario of suicide he said that the post-mortem found no traces of drugs or pill fragments in the deceased's stomach.
He said it was not possible to commit suicide by smothering oneself. He said smothering would take between one minute and ten minutes.
He said he saw nothing inconsistent with the deceased being smothered.
Mr Hughes will continue his cross-examination when the trial continues on Wednesday.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: