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Published: Sunday, 12/21/2008

Harness failure blamed in Sylvania native's fatal fall

BY SHARON COOLIDGE
CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

CINCINNATI Police completed their investigation into how a woman performing in a Christmas play at a church fell to her death, saying the fall was the result of a harness failure.

Investigators turned over their evidence, including a videotape of 23-year-old Keri Shryock falling 20 feet to the floor, to Hamilton County Coroner O'dell Owens.

Ms. Shryock's family is from Sylvania. She was a graduate student at Xavier University.

Ms. Shryock was performing an aerial acrobatics routine Wednesday night during a Christmas play at Crossroads, a nondenominational church in Oakley, Ohio.

While suspended over the audience by a harness and cables, Ms. Shryock fell, according to police reports. She died at University Hospital.

Church officials said that after prayerful consideration with Ms. Shryock's parents they scheduled four special services this weekend 'that will focus on helping to process this loss in our community.'

'Ms. Shryock's parents have encouraged us to continue with a Christmas experience, so that people would be able to hear the message of Jesus, as they believe would have been Keri's desire,' the statement said.

'We support and encourage a Christmas program to continue because that's the way Keri would have wanted it,' Ms. Shryock's parents said in the statement.



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