Coroner: prisoner death was due to natural causes

The Chester County Coroner’s Office is releasing information on the death of Dimitrios Moscharis. Moscharis, 34, died June 18, 2021 in the Chester County Prison. The cause of death is sudden cardiac arrhythmia due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), manner natural. Results from two autopsies, one performed by a forensic pathologist for the Coroner’s Office and the other a private autopsy performed at the request of the family, were consistent. Microscopic examination showed abnormal and damaged heart muscle. Neither autopsy found any traumatic injury contributory to the death.

A sudden cardiac death pathology consultation by Mayo Clinic Laboratories also found “mild” cardiomegaly and left ventricular hypertrophy (enlarged heart) as well as “focal fatty replacement in the left and right ventricles.” Genetic testing for cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmia disorders was done by Invitae through the Detect Cardiomyopathy and Arrhythmia program.

Extensive toxicological testing at both autopsies found no illicit substances or poisons.  Caffeine and a non-toxic level of arsenic (12 mcg/L) consistent with dietary exposure were present.

“The death of a previously healthy 34-year-old man while in custody demanded extensive investigation on our part and that is what was done,” said Chester County Coroner Dr. Christina VandePol. “An inquest was planned, but during the pre-inquest process additional discussions were held with potential witnesses and we obtained the private autopsy report. As a result, I have no concern at this time for other than a natural death, the case is closed, and I will not be conducting an inquest.”


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