Lee Co. coroner releases results of Auburn girls' deaths

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) -  The Lee County Coroner, Bill Harris, has released the following information regarding the deaths of three Auburn girls:

Results of extensive tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta have returned on the death investigation cases of 7 year old Katherine Langford, 10 year old Kaylee Allison, and 7 year old Brianea Thomas. The three Auburn girls died unexpectedly in June, August and November respectively.

Dr. Stephen Boudreau, Montgomery Medical Examiners Office of the Alabama Dept. of Forensic Sciences and I met with the families on Monday and went over the results. The cause of death of all three deaths has been attributed to Myocarditis and the deaths have been ruled natural. Unfortunately, after extensive testing by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, we were unable to identify any virus associated with the deaths. No less than eight pathologists examined these cases and the official diagnosis of the CDC is that no known virus associated with the myocarditis could be identified. This does not mean that a virus was not present, only that after a barrage of tests, no known virus could be identified. The CDC pathologists and Dr. Boudreau stated that these tragic deaths are highly unusual but it does happen and unfortunately we did not find anything to tie the three together. 

Bill Harris, "Myocarditis itself is very rare in children. I can assure this community that there is no bacterial or infectious disease running rampant in Lee County. The fact that all three girls happened to live in the same city is unusual in itself.  There have been reports in past years of small pockets of cases of myocarditis outside Alabama, but all were explained.  These three cases are very rare.  These three young girls were all healthy kids that suddenly became ill and tragically died within a short period of time after becoming ill. The families did not do or fail to do anything that contributed to their deaths. In fact all three had received medical attention just days prior to their deaths.  This is purely an unusual and rare set of circumstances that ended with the deaths of three beautiful young girls.

I have assured the families that these cases will remain open on the hope that now that all of their information and data of the tests performed is in a nationwide database, should anything like this occur in the future or a new virus is detected it can be compared to their data in hopes of identifying the virus that caused their deaths.

I only ask that everyone keep these families in their prayers and pray that someday we will have a conclusive answer to these tragic deaths."

Courtesy: Lee County Coroner