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Published: Thursday, 8/26/2010

Coroners testify about how toxicology findings changed ruling in child's death


NAPOLEON — Thirteen-month-old Kamryn Gerken died from "acute combined drug toxicity," Dr. Cynthia Beisser, a deputy Lucas County coroner, testified Thursday.

Just how the child ingested those drugs — oxycodone and Xanax among them — is among the questions surrounding the trial of Kamryn's mother, Jayme Schwenkmeyer, 24, of Liberty Center, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in her daughter's August, 2007 death.

Dr. Beisser, who conducted the autopsy, told the jury in Henry County Common Pleas Court that she saw no signs of external trauma or injuries when she examined Kamryn's body, but needed the results of toxicology testing to determine what caused the child's death.

Henry County Coroner Dr. Marek Skoskiewicz said he changed his ruling on the manner of Kamryn's death from natural to homicide in November, 2007 based on the toxicology findings and further investigation into the case.

"It seemed for me very improbable that two of the medications found their way to the child by accident," he told the jury, adding that neither of the drugs were medications that would be prescribed to a child.

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