Scientologist death under further study - 1997-01-14
McPherson had spent 17 days in the Scientology-owned hotel, resting and recuperating from unexplained anxiety, according to church officials.
They also say McPherson, 36, "suddenly took ill" at the hotel but distrusted doctors. They say she initially declined to be treated until Scientologist friends agreed to take her to a Scientologist doctor in New Port Richey, more than 20 miles away.
The church contends McPherson suffered from a severe staph infection. But an autopsy by the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office concluded she died from blood clotting "bed rest and severe dehydration."
The autopsy also showed "evidence of injury" and cited bruises, lesions, abrasions and marks resembling insect or animal bites on McPherson's body.