MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

November 21, 2012

ME finds accidental overdose cause of death of Narconon patient

McALESTER — A young woman died from an accidental overdose at Narconon Arrowhead according to the toxicological report released by Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Oklahoma City.

Stacy Murphy, 20,  was found dead in July at the facility and state federal and county officials have been waiting for the results of her autopsy to complete an investigation after her death and the deaths of three others who also died while patients of the Scientology-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Canadian.

Medical examiner's spokeswoman Amy Elliott said Murphy died died from acute oxymorphone toxicity.

The four deaths at the facility since 2009 have been the subject of an ongoing investigation by federal, state and county officials.

In October, Gabriel Graves, 31, was found dead in his bed at the facility. In April, Hillary Holten was found dead in her bed at the facility. In 2009, Kaysie Werninck died while a patient at the facility.

In August, a lawsuit was filed by Matthew and Suzan Holten, the parents of Hillary Holten.

The suit, filed in Pittsburg County District Court on Aug. 23, alleges that Narconon did not provide adequate medical care that their died as a result of Narconon’s negligence.

According to the lawsuit, after Holten was admitted to a hospital for health-related issues, she tested positive for drugs.

In October, Robert Murphy and Tonya White, parents of  Murphy of Owasso filed suit against Narconon, alleging the facility was grossly negligent, willful, wanton and reckless. According to the lawsuit the family is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 from Narconon Arrowhead, Narconon International, the Association for Better Living and Education International and Dr. Gerald Wootan.

Calls to John Bittinas, public relations person for Narconon Arrowhead, were not returned in time to for this report.

Jeanne LeFlore writes for the McAlester News-Capital

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