The baffling death of 22-year-old Lily Ledbetter in the US Virgin Islands remains a mystery after an autopsy revealed little information, according to the medical examiner.
It was basically a negative autopsy,” Dr. Francisco Landron told Fox News Digital. “There is no injury, nothing to explain the cause of the death.”
The former Auburn University student had been living on the popular tourist island of St. John in the town of Cruz Bay and working at a local animal shelter when she died suddenly.
Local police have come under fire in recent years for their handling of suspicious deaths amid concerns about the rate of violent crime in the tropical paradise.
Police received a 911 call at 12:33 p.m. on June 6 from a “citizen” reporting that Ledbetter was unresponsive at her home in the Enighed neighborhood, according to a news release from the Virgin Islands Police Department.
Officers and emergency medical technicians arrived at the home, but Ledbetter had no signs of life, and she was declared dead at 12:53 p.m., the news release says.
Landron, the medical examiner for the US Virgin Islands based in St. Thomas, said they are still awaiting toxicology results.
“It could be alcohol. It could be opiates,” said Landron, who added that foul play is not suspected.
If the toxicology report doesn’t reveal a cause of death, Landron said the next step would be “microscopic studies on tissues such as the heart.”
The young woman from Alabama had been working part-time for about two months at the Animal Care Center of St. John, a co-worker told Fox News Digital.
“She was a good person. It’s really sad,” said the staffer, who declined to give his name. “She was a wonderful young person, who really liked spending time with the cats and dogs.”
It wasn’t clear if she graduated from the university, which didn’t immediately return a request for comment, but her name did not appear on a list of alumni.
Her obituary says that she competed with the university’s Women’s Rowing Club.
“Her sparkling smile, contagious laugh and spice for life inspired everyone she met,” her obituary says. “Knowing Lily, loving Lily and being loved by Lily were transforming.”
She graduated with honors from Opelika High School in 2019, where she was a member of the dance team, show choir and band.
“To see Lily dance was awe-inspiring,” the obituary says. “She was absolutely captivating, and her passion illuminated the stage.” She is survived by her parents and two brothers.
In February, retired US swimming champion Jamie Cali, 42, died after her boyfriend found her unresponsive in her home on St. John.
Local police were criticized for refusing to release the New Hampshire native’s cause of death but said they had launched a criminal investigation.
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