Cause of death difficult to determine

The forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Shauna Wolf said he discovered nothing abnormal, a phrase that has become quite common at the inquiry into Wolf’s death.

Dr. Shaun Ladham was one of four witnesses to testify on Tuesday, as day two of the inquiry resumed at the Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench.

Ladham said performed a complete examination, a process that includes searching for symptoms of natural disease to signs of blunt force trauma.

While there were signs of bruising and scratches on Wolf’s body, Ladham said the instances were minor, and may have simply occurred while medical personal performing life-saving measures.

“It wasn’t extensive, and it wasn’t something I thought would have caused death,” Ladham told jury members in reference to one specific bruise that were likely caused during C.P.R.

He also found no instances of natural disease, other than one sign that Wolf may have suffered from pneumonia in the past. However, he said it is unlikely it interfered with her breathing.

Wolf’s heart and other internal organs all appeared to be unaffected by disease or illness.

The entire procedure left Ladham at a loss to explain how Wolf died. When taking drug use into account, he said withdrawal could be a cause but it was difficult to say for sure.

“It was possible that her death was due to an opiate withdrawal,” he told jury members.

The cause of death became the defining issue of the day, especially after another witness testified that Wolf refused medication during a nurses round at 9 p.m.

For the rest of this story, please see the May 3 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.

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