No evidence of foul play in Hopkins professor's death

No evidence of foul play has been found in the death of Elizabeth "Liz" O'Hearn — the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine neurology professor found unresponsive in the Baltimore harbor last week — and it will not be ruled a homicide, according to city police.

O'Hearn, 53, an accomplished neurologist who broke ground in the field of neurodegenerative disease and joined the medical school's faculty in 1997, was found unresponsive in the water near her Canton home in the 2300 block of Boston Street about 4:45 a.m. Thursday. She was pronounced dead hours later at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

An autopsy of O'Hearn's body has since been performed, but the results have not been released as the state medical examiner awaits a toxicology report that will show whether the neurologist had any drugs in her system, said Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman.

A cause of death will be issued by the medical examiner once the toxicology results are known, and police will use that information as they continue their investigation, Guglielmi said.

"We're investigating as to whether this was an accidental or self-inflicted death, but be mindful that that is all going to depend on what evidence we gather," Guglielmi said.

O'Hearn's sister, Deirdre O'Hearn, of New York, said it was "hard to say" what to think of the findings.

"It's hard because she's just not here," she said. "I'm not sure if we're every going to know definitively what happened."

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad