Cause of death for Narconon Arrowhead patient unknown, state medical examiner says

Tulsa World/October 24, 2012

The state Medical Examiner's Office could not determine what caused the April death of a woman at a detoxification facility rooted in Scientology, an autopsy report released Tuesday indicates.

Hillary Ann Holten, 21, of Carrollton, Texas, died April 11 at Narconon Arrowhead, which is on Lake Eufaula northeast of McAlester. Holten's death is one of three recent deaths at the Narconon facility that have resulted in a multiagency investigation.

Gabriel Graves, 32, of Claremore died Oct. 26, 2011, and Stacy Murphy, 20, of Owasso died July 19. Graves' and Holten's manner and cause of death are listed as unknown by the Medical Examiner's Office. Murphy's autopsy report has not yet been completed.

Holten's autopsy showed nothing unusual except some lesions on her face and bruises on her arms and right leg, according to the report.

Her toxicology report showed no positive results for any tested substance.

According to a lawsuit filed by Holten's family, she had congenital adrenal hyperplasia - the lack of an enzyme the adrenal gland needs to make certain hormones and to create too much of another hormone - that was being treated with medication.

The lawsuit alleges negligence by the Narconon organization for accepting Holten into its program, given her medical condition, and not providing her with proper medical treatment.

The autopsy report was inconclusive about the possibility that her death was associated with the medical condition.

As a result of the three recent deaths, Narconon Arrowhead is being investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

The investigation began after Murphy's death in July.

Investigators have said they are waiting for the Medical Examiner's Office to finish Murphy's autopsy report before they can finish their investigation.

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