Coroner's inquest called in hospital death of Serena Perry
No date has been set yet
A coroner's inquest will be held into the death of Serena Perry at the Saint John Regional Hospital last year, the province's chief coroner announced on Thursday.
Perry, 22, died while she was a patient under the care of the psychiatric unit.
Her body was discovered on Feb. 14, 2012 in the hospital's amphitheatre, which is located in another section of the facility.
The public inquest will determine the facts surrounding her death by hearing evidence from witnesses, Greg Forestell, the chief coroner, said in a statement.
The jury will also have an opportunity to make recommendations to prevent deaths under similar circumstances, he said.
No date has been set yet, but it will be held in Saint John, said Forestell.
The Horizon Health Network had previously said it would work collaboratively with all parties if an inquest was called.
Saint John Police Chief Bill Reid had requested the coroner's office hold a public inquest into Perry's death after he announced last month no charges would be laid in the case.
Although police had a suspect in the case, which was being treated as a homicide, a forensic examination could not determine the cause of her death, police said.
The chief had previously questioned why hospital staff did not call 911 until 12:20 a.m., up to an hour after Perry's body was found.
Hospital officials said at the time the delay was normal for a death in a hospital setting as medical professionals attempt to revive the person.
The initial coroner's report last year had listed the probable cause of death as "asphyxia due to strangulation," but two subsequent reports by different forensic pathologists could not be as conclusive, police said.
The suspect was a male patient also under the care of the psychiatric unit.
Perry's family is angry nobody will be charged in her death.
The New Brunswick Coroner Service is an independent fact-finding agency. It does not make any findings of legal responsibility.