The family of Serena Perry is angry nobody will be charged in connection with her death at the Saint John Regional Hospital.

After investigating for more than a year, the Saint John Police Force announced on Friday no charges will be laid.

This, despite the fact that Police Chief Bill Reid said last year they had a suspect in the "suspicious" case and he expected to solve the death "in the not too distant future."

The body of Perry, 22, was found in the hospital's amphitheatre on Feb. 14, 2012. She had been under the care of the psychiatric unit, which is located in another section of the facility.

Police say a forensic pathology examination could not determine her cause of death.

"Without that being said, we cannot proceed to any criminal charges at this point in time," Sgt. Jay Henderson told CBC News.

The chief has, however, requested the coroner's office hold a public inquest into Perry's death.

Sister 'disgusted'


Tasha King has a small shrine dedicated to her baby sister Serena Perry. (CBC) (CBC)

Fighting back tears, Perry's sister Tasha King said she was "disgusted" by the decision not to lay any charges and has "no faith" in the police.

"Now buddy gets to roam around and kill somebody else. And then another family's going to go through what me and mom and [my other sister] Missy went through."

The suspect was a male patient also under the care of the psychiatric unit. He is now 18 and has moved with his parents to Edmonton.

'How can you mess up something so big?' —Tasha King, sister of Serena Perry

An inquest might help prevent such a death from happening again, she said, but nobody will be jailed for the death of her baby sister, to whom she has dedicated a small shrine in her living room.

"How can you mess up something so big?"

King said the family learned no one would be charged from their lawyer and went to the police themselves.

"I feel like our family has never had any respect. I thought the cops would have had enough respect to call us themselves," said King.

Perry's mother, Rose Perry, also said she is angry most of the updates she received came from their lawyer or CBC News.

"They’re very incompetent," she said of the hospital and police.

Police 'sympathize' with family

Sgt. Henderson said police "sympathize with the family."

"We had a person of interest in connection with this, but as you unfold the investigation — our investigators did a thorough job — part of the investigation is determining the cause of death," he said.

Although the initial coroner's report last year had listed the probable cause of death as "asphyxia due to strangulation," two subsequent reports by different forensic pathologists could not be as conclusive, he said.

As a result, the cause of death, remains unknown. "Her death has been ruled undetermined and we can’t proceed to any criminal charges."

'We’re hoping that some answers may be taken out of this public inquiry and give satisfaction to the family.' —Sgt. Jay Henderson, Saint John Police Force

"We sympathize with the family," he said. "It’s hard enough to go through this, but to have no solid conclusion … We’re hoping that some answers may be taken out of this public inquiry and give satisfaction to the family."

If an inquest is called, it is expected to put a sharp focus on procedures at the Saint John Regional Hospital.

The chief has previously questioned why hospital staff didn't call 911 immediately after Perry's body was found.

"We weren't even notified that there was a potential issue or concern for up to an hour when our public safety communication center were asked simply to notify the family there was a death and they couldn't get hold of the family," Reid had said.

"Our public safety communication folks were very diligent. They said this didn't sound quite right and they notified our members who asked questions. So from the very beginning this wasn't a normal situation for us."

Police were called to the hospital at 12:20 a.m., up to an hour after Perry's body was discovered. 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.

In a brief statement on Friday, a spokesperson for the Horizon Health Network said they will work collaboratively with all parties if an inquest is called.