Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pseudoseizures ruled as cause of death

A seizure has been ruled as Kelly Stanley's cause of death, and because of those findings, no criminal charges will be filed.

The findings were made after a pathologist at the Northeast Indiana Forensic Center in Fort Wayne did a second set of tests on the Centerville teen.

A release from Wayne County Coroner Kevin Fouche said that Stanley died of natural causes and her toxicology report was negative.

Psychogenic or non-epileptic seizures might be stress induced, the release said.

More information can be found regarding these types of seizures at, the coroner's release noted.

According to that Web site, psychogenic non-epileptic seizures "seem to be caused by stressful psychological experiences or emotional trauma."

The emotional trauma, it noted, can be triggered by experiencing a major life event such as a divorce or the death of someone close.

"We investigated her (medical) history," Fouche said. "But I cannot release what we found."
Stanley, 18, died on Sept. 7, which is six days after her sister Erin Stanley, 19, was found unconscious and struggling to breathe in her bedroom in the same Centerville home.

Erin Stanley, whose body was found by her boyfriend, James H. McFarland, was pronounced dead at Reid Hospital.

Police kept mum on Erin Stanley's death until her parents, Dale and Lonny Stanley, discovered Kelly Stanley's body.

McFarland -- who fathered a child with Erin Stanley -- was arrested on a murder charge Oct. 10 in connection with Erin Stanley's death.

Because Kelly Stanley died of a seizure, there is no indication a homicide had been committed, Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Shipman said.

However, because Kelly Stanley reportedly had been assisting investigators in trying to solve her sister's death, which was being investigated as a homicide, public suspicions were being directed toward McFarland, after his arrest in Erin's death.

"I did caution the community to reserve judgment until a report was returned," Shipman said. "I have dealt with a number of death investigations and I have learned it's better to be patient and wait for findings instead of jumping to conclusions."

Shipman said he was not aware of Kelly Stanley's medical history.

In the past, investigators said Kelly Stanley's death was being investigated as "suspicious."
"The criminal investigation has been concluded," Shipman said. "If no homicide has been committed, we cannot prosecute a crime."


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