Kreye’s autopsy released

Medical examiners found Jacob Kreye’s cause of death to be a heart ailment.

by Matthew Gruchow

Medical examiners said they believe a heart ailment caused the death of a 19-year-old Andover, Minn., man who died Sept. 26 in Riverbend Commons.

According to a Hennepin County Medical Examiner report released Thursday, Jacob Kreye died of natural causes connected to lymphocytic myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that can be caused by several unexpected and spontaneous reasons. Kreye was not a University student.

According to the search warrant affidavit, on Sept. 25 Kreye visited the University and was sleeping over at University student Aurora Albright-Konicek’s room at the time of his death. At approximately 11:30 a.m. the next day, Albright-Konicek called police when she could not wake Kreye.

Dr. Leslie Miller, chief cardiologist at the Medical School, said a number of viruses can cause the condition, which tricks the body into thinking heart tissue is a virus.

The body then begins to attack the heart, causing the inflammation, Miller said.

“It injures the heart,” he said. “It can lead to actual injury to the muscle and weakening the heart and develop actual heart failure.”

Four to five students are seen each year with the condition, Miller said.

Medication that helps the heart recover makes the condition easily treatable, he said. Patients recover in a matter of months, he said.

“It’s a fraction of a percent of those that get these infections that ever develop this complication,” Miller said.

Albright-Konicek told police Kreye had used marijuana and alcohol the night before his death, according to the search warrant affidavit.

According to the affidavit, police found three liquor bottles, 20 empty beer cans, containers of suspected marijuana, a plant like material and some powdered substances in Albright-Konicek’s room.

Medical examiner investigator Shawn Wilson said alcohol and marijuana could not cause the inflammation in Kreye’s heart.

Kreye went to Coon Rapids High School from 2000-2003.