Meningitis ruled out in death of 6-year-old

CANTON- Investigators continue to wait for lab reports in the death of a 6-year-old Homeworth girl earlier this month, but have ruled out meningitis and trauma.

Rick Walters, an investigator with the Stark County coroner’s office, said Thursday he has not yet received the toxicology report and other lab results in the death of Kiersten Bernier, a student at West Branch’s Knox Elementary who died March 1 in the Alliance Community Hospital emergency room. She reportedly had suffered flu-like symptoms the prior 24 hours.

Walters said meningitis was ruled out as early as possible, and there were no signs of trauma. He said that nothing can be determined for another few weeks and a ruling will be made when all the lab results can be put together.

“We’ve done everything we can so far,” he said. “We can’t rule out anything completely at this point (except meningitis and trauma).”

Chief Deputy Allen Haueter of the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office said detectives are completing interviews and continuing to wait for the coroner’s report.