Home Local News Elijah McClain died of ketamine toxicity, newly updated autopsy report says

Elijah McClain died of ketamine toxicity, newly updated autopsy report says

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Elijah McClain is pictured in this undated photograph. (Photo provided by family of Elijah McClain)

The Adams County Coroner’s Office changed Elijah McClain’s cause of death from “undetermined” to ketamine toxicity after reviewing additional evidence during the grand jury investigation into his death, according to an updated autopsy report released Friday.

“I believe that Mr. McClain would most likely be alive but for the administration of ketamine,” forensic pathology consultant Stephen Cina wrote in the updated autopsy report.

The manner of McClain’s death — such rulings can include homicide, accidental or natural — remains undetermined.

McClain, 23, died in 2019 after three Aurora police officers violently arrested him — though he had committed no crime — and two paramedics injected him with the powerful sedative ketamine.

Former Adams County District Attorney Dave Young declined to charge the officers and paramedics in connection with McClain’s death, citing in part the autopsy’s finding that the cause of death was undetermined. But a statewide grand jury in 2021 indicted the five men on charges — including criminally negligent homicide — following intense scrutiny during the 2020 police brutality protests.

The five defendants — Peter Cichuniec, Jeremy Cooper, Nathan Woodyard, Randy Roedema and Jason Rosenblatt — are scheduled for arraignment Nov. 4.

Adams County Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan released the updated autopsy Friday after a lawsuit filed by Colorado Public Radio and other local news outlets. She initially denied a request for the autopsy because it included information from the grand jury that is not public record.

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