ST. LOUIS (KMOX)__The St. Louis County Medical Examiner has more to say about what we may — or may not — learn from the autopsy of August Busch the IV’s girlfriend.
Twenty-seven-year-old Adrienne Martin was found dead at the beer executive’s Huntleigh mansion December 19th. A premliminary police investigation found no signs of trauma. Results of an autopsy aren’t expected for up to a month.
In a copyrighted story this week in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Busch suggested Martin’s death may have been caused by a prescription medication she was taking, Trazodone. St. Louis County Medical Examiner Dr. Mary Case says the toxicology tests on Martin should reveal whether she may have overdosed. “That would certainly be picked up, if there’s a detectable amount of it,” Case explained. “If there’s a tiny, tiny bit, it might not show up, but a theraputic dose or higher would be detected.”
Trazodone is a prescription drug used to treat depression but also sometimes used to treat insomnia, according to the National Institutes of Health. In the Post-Dispatch story, the sometimes model’s ex-husband, Dr. Kevin Martin, expressed surprise that she would have been taking Trazodone, given her heart condition. Dr. Martin, a doctor of osteopathy, says he diagnosed her with a heart rhythm disorder known as Long QT syndrome shortly after they were married and it may have contributed to her death.
But Dr. Case says if Martin did have Long QT syndrome, understanding what part it may have played in her death may be a problem, because Martin’s body has already been cremated. “In certain ways, it would close the door,” Case said. “The best testing is frozen heart tissue, which we don’t have.”
Dr. Case says genetic tests could be done on the blood samples taken from Martin before her cremation to screen for Long QT syndrome. However, such tests are expensive and would only be undertaken if the family orders it.