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Columbia Missourian

UPDATE: Fall did not cause MU student Michael Heney's death, coroner says

By John Farmer de la Torre
January 2, 2013 | 3:45 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A fall on New Year's Eve that caused MU student Michael Heney to hit his head on a porch was not the cause of his death, Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn reported Wednesday.

But an autopsy conducted Wednesday did not reveal any definitive cause of death, Nonn announced in a news release.

In the release, Nonn said that "the fall itself and subsequent trauma to the head was superficial, along with a broken nose, and was not the cause of death."

Routine toxicology tests were performed but the results usually take four to six weeks, the coroner noted.

Heney was one of two MU students who died between Dec. 28 and Jan. 1. He was at a private residence in Edwardsville, Ill. Friends took him to an emergency clinic, which was closed, then called 911, according to a coroner's news release Tuesday. Emergency responders found him unresponsive.

Heney was an MU junior majoring in business. Funeral arrangements are incomplete and under the direction of Schrader Funeral Home in St. Louis.

Edwardsville police continue to investigate the incident.

MU freshman Cole Patrick, 18, of St. Joseph was killed when the pickup in which he was a back-seat passenger left the road and struck a tree, according to the St. Joseph News-Press. He was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver, Dylan S. Pierce, 17, of DeKalb, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Court records indicate that Pierce was intoxicated. Another passenger survived with minor injuries.

Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott.