The cause of death for a well-respected physician from Long Island, who died early Oct. 5 under mysterious circumstances after a night out with friends in Manhattan, was the result of acute cocaine and alcohol intoxication, according to the medical examiner's office. The manner of death was determined to be accidental.
New York Police Department officers found 38-year-old dermatologist Kiersten Rickenbach Ceverny around 8:30 a.m. in the vestibule of an apartment building on West 16th Street, after responding to an anonymous 911 call about an unconscious person in the fashionable Chelsea neighborhood. An ambulance rushed the married mother of three to Lennox Hill Hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead.
A preliminary autopsy performed on the date of her death was unable to determine the cause of Cerveny’s death, the Medical Examiner told reporters on Oct. 6.
Cerveny reportedly spent most of Saturday night bar-hopping around the Lower East Side with her friends before ending up at the Chelsea apartment building with Marc Johnson, an Emmy-nominated producer for HBO, and James Holder, a convicted drug felon.
Surveillance footage from later in the evening shows two men carrying the unconscious doctor down the stairs and into the vestibule, the Post reported.
Early on Sunday, Johnson called 911 to report that Cerveny was “turning blue,” but fled the scene when emergency medics began asking questions, the Post reported. Later, the producer reportedly called the emergency number again to try to find out if Cerveny was still alive.
The emergency medics who tended to Cerveny found bruises around her neck, the Daily News reported, but police sources told the paper they were not investigating the death as a homicide. Police have spoken to Johnson but have not charged him with a crime. They are reportedly still looking for Holder.
The NYPD’s media relations unit declined to answer any questions from BuzzFeed News about Cerveny’s death other than to say nobody had been arrested and the investigation remained ongoing.
Cerveny, a former Junior Miss America, graduated with honors from Duke University and went on to get her medical degree at Tulane, according to her wedding announcement in the New York Times. She served as the chief of dermatology at Brooklyn Hospital Center and had a professorship at Weil Cornell. The Yelp page for her private practice had glowing reviews.
Cerveny’s widower, Andrew Cerveny, is also a dermatologist. The pair were married in 2009 and had three children. The U.S. Census lists the average value of the homes in their neighborhood in Manhasset, Long Island as well over a million dollars.
Calls at the family’s number went unanswered.
Nicolás Medina Mora is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Nicolás Medina Mora at email@example.com.
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