Sedona Sweat Lodge Tragedy Autopsies Released; Heat Stroke and Organ Failure Were Culprits

Autopsy results were released in the cases of the three people who died during a sweat-lodge- ceremony-gone-wrong in Sedona last October, and if you guessed heat stroke or multi-system organ failure as causes of death, you win!

The autopsies conclude that two of the three victims died as a result of heat stroke, while the other victim met her demise because of multi-system organ failure.

You mean jamming dozens of borderline-dehydrated people into a poorly ventilated tent filled with steaming rocks could cause heat stroke?

The report, uncovered by the Associated Press, found that 38-year-old Kirby Brown of Westtown, New York, and 40-year-old James Shore of Wisconsin, both fell victim to heat stroke after being in the sweat tent -- in the event organized by "spiritual warrior" James Arthur Ray.

The third victim, Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minnesota, died after spending more than a week in the hospital. The autopsy found that she died because of "multiple organ failure due to hyperthermia from prolonged sweat-lodge exposure."

"Prolonged sweat lodge exposure?" Neuman paid nearly $10,000 to attend the sweat lodge-event, so you can't blame her for trying to get her money's worth.

Ray, who left the sweat lodge physically unscathed, now faces three manslaughter charges for the deaths of the victims.

Ray is set to stand trial on August 31. If convicted, he faces a minimum of three years in prison and a maximum of 12 for each manslaughter charge.

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James King
Contact: James King