Test results still pending in Creswell teen's death

The Register-Guard, Oregon/January 21, 2012

A state medical examiner said it may be several more weeks before the completion of toxicology reports that could shed light on circumstances that led to the death of a Creswell teen last month.

Lane County sheriff's officials are working with medical examiners to investigate 16-year-old Austin Sprout's death. He died Dec. 20 at his family's home.

People who knew Sprout had heard he struggled with flu-like symptoms for at least a week before his death, Creswell Middle School teacher Stan Mercer previously told The Register-Guard.

Sprout's family apparently belongs to the General Assembly and the Church of the First Born. The church has a long history of controversial deaths related to healing by prayer, according to the Rick Ross Institute, a New Jersey-based Internet archive of information about "cults, destructive cults, controversial groups and movements."

Sprout's mother, Brandi Bellew of Creswell, declined to comment on her son's death when contacted by telephone earlier this week.

State law requires medical examiners to investigate deaths that occur in situations where physicians are not present.

Dr. Daniel Davis, the deputy state medical examiner for Lane County, said Sprout's autopsy has been conducted but toxicology results are still pending. It can take "a couple months" for those tests to be completed, Davis said.

Sheriff's Lt. Byron Trapp said detectives will review the medical examiner's findings before forwarding investigative reports to Lane County prosecutors, who will decide if any criminal charges should be filed in the case.

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