Autopsy for Doctor’s Death Inside Montco Jail Released

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The death of a doctor held at Montgomery County Correctional Facility remains a mystery.

And it may be that way forever.

The autopsy for David Kennedy, a pediatrician from Pennsburg who was being held on charges of children pornography and who died Dec. 18, could not determine a cause of death.

“We did quite a bit of testing and were not able to come up with anything substantial,” First Deputy County Coroner Alex Balacki said Wednesday. “There were no physical injuries and nothing of toxicological significance.”

The county has declined to provide specific details about the circumstances of Kennedy’s death inside the jail. A spokeswoman for the county did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Balacki would only confirm that Kennedy was indeed found inside the correctional facility in Eaglesville.

The District Attorney’s office is not currently investigating Kennedy’s death, a spokeswoman said in an email Wednesday.

Kennedy was arrested last November after a nurse practitioner at Personal Care Pediatrics in Pennsburg allegedly found images on a cell phone she was given to answer any emergency calls for the practice during the Thanksgiving weekend, said the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

While using the phone, she allegedly found the sexually graphic photographs of children and other sexual images, authorities said. 

“The investigation revealed that the images belonged to Kennedy,” the DA’d office alleged in a joint statement with Upper Perkiomen Police Department at the time. 

Kennedy, 48, was the 25th county inmate to die in custody since 2007, according to an report earlier this year.

In two of those deaths, resulting lawsuits led to $462,500 in settlements, the county said. Federal court records indicate that one of the settlements was for $325,000 in the death of Patricia Pollock.

The 25-year-old woman died Sept. 27, 2011 from “acute fulminant verrucous endocarditis,” or sudden and severe inflammation of the heart, according to the county. 

Before she died, Pollock had been in custody on $10,000 bail for theft and DUI charges, according to a published report. The lawsuit contended that the jail’s medical staff ignored Pollock’s symptoms for more than four days before she was eventually transported to Mercy Suburban Hospital in East Norriton, where she died. It remains unclear how much of that settlement was paid by the county, since the contractor that handled the jail’s medical services at the time was also a defendant in the lawsuit.

In addition to Pollock’s death, 17 other inmates died from medical emergencies or illnesses, county records show. 

Five of the inmate deaths were by “suicide, hanging,” with a sixth described as “hanging in cell.”

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