The death of a Baton Rouge General nurse will be investigated as a homicide after the coroner ruled on Tuesday that she died of injuries from a physical altercation with a patient, officials said.
East Baton Rouge Coroner Dr. Beau Clark said there was a direct connection between the blood clots that killed nurse Lynne Truxillo, 56, and a prior physical altercation at her job a week earlier.
"This is a series of events that led to her death, but they all go back to the physical altercation," Clark said Tuesday. He said he passed on the information from his probe on to Baton Rouge police and the District Attorney's Office for further investigation.
Police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. said he believes the physical altercation involving Truxillo and the unidentified patient occurred the first week of April at Baton Rouge General Medical Center's Mid City campus. Truxillo died on Thursday, April 11, about a week later.
After the coroner's ruling Tuesday, police spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely Jr. said homicide detectives will pick up the investigation.
Clark said the preliminary findings of the autopsy show Truxillo suffered a blood clot in her leg, as well as blood clots in both lungs, known as pulmonary emboli. Those blood clots were the cause of her death, but he ruled her manner of death a homicide.
Truxillo was remembered as a "kind, compassionate and giving nurse," in a company-wide email sent from Edgardo Tenreiro, president and CEO of Baton Rouge General/General Health System.
"Our deepest sympathies are with her loved ones, friend and colleagues as we work to better understand this tragic loss," he wrote. He said she had worked at Baton Rouge General Hospital since 2002.
An obituary for Truxillo published Tuesday says she was a wife and mother of two, and had gotten her nursing degree at LSU.
"One of Lynne's many gifts was the ability to uplift everyone's spirits," the obituary says. "She touched the lives of many each day with her kindness and humor."
A family member declined to speak to speak to a reporter Tuesday evening, explaining that the family is still grieving.
Meghan Parrish, a spokeswoman for the Baton Rouge General health system, also declined Tuesday to comment further about Truxillo's death or the altercation.
Editors note: This story was updated to reflect that Truxillo's obituary was published Tuesday, not last week. The Advocate regrets the error.