Overdose ruled in death at Heartland — (The Independent)

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The Independent

By R.J. VILLELLA

Robert.Villella@IndeOnline.com

Stark County Coroner Dr. P.S. Murthy’s office said Friday the death of a 26-year-old patient at Heartland Behavioral Healthcare on Feb. 27 was due to an overdose of anti-depressant medicine.

But the Ohio State Highway Patrol has not closed the death investigation of Paul LaGuardia.

Following the March autopsy, Harry Campbell, chief investigator for Murthy, said no overt signs of trauma were found. Campbell did cite a skin abrasion on the left eye brow and central forehead of LaGuardia.

The report also noted severe tracheo-bronchitis was present and some fluid was found in both lobes of LaGuardia’s lungs.

Campbell said then the findings were preliminary until the results of the toxicology tests were received. Those results showed an elevated level of Venlafaxine, known by the brand name Effexor XR.

The coroner’s office used the term “accidental overdose.”

However, Sgt. John Maxey, spokesman for the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said the case was still open. “Our investigators intend to meet with the coroner within the next week or two to go over the case,” he said. “At that time they will discuss if any other areas of the case need to be investigated