The 38-year-old Long Island doctor found in the vestibule of a Manhattan apartment building earlier this month died accidentally from acute cocaine and alcohol intoxication, the medical examiner's office has ruled.
The finding confirms what investigators suspected after Kiersten Cerveny was found dead on Oct. 5. Law enforcement sources told NBC 4 New York the day after her death that she had been using cocaine inside an apartment there with a boyfriend and another man before they left her in a lobby to be picked up by EMS.
Law enforcement sources said that Cerveny became ill after consuming cocaine inside an apartment of a five-story walk-up building on West 16th Street. The two men she was with tried to carry her to a cab downstairs, but she collapsed, the sources said.
The men called 911, and when EMS arrived, the man believed to be her boyfriend fled back upstairs, the sources said.
Emergency medical technicians attempted to resuscitate Cerveny, a married mother of three who lived in Manhasset, as they loaded her into the ambulance and took her to the Lenox Health emergency room in Greenwich Village. She died at the hospital.
Investigators initially said they were looking for an unidentified man who was thought to have spotted the unconscious Cerveny in the vestibule and flagged down an ambulance before fleeing. Police said Monday the man now believed to be Cerveny's boyfriend was questioned, but neither he nor the other man is expected to face charges.
Cerveny's father told the Daily News that she had told her husband she was headed out from their home in Manhasset to spend the night in the city with a friend.
Cerveny had been drinking at a Lower East Side nightspot before arriving by cab with a man at the apartment building around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, police said. Investigators recovered security video that showed the man and another person carrying her into the entryway about four hours later.
Cerveny, who was originally from Washington Township in Gloucester County, New Jersey, had been an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, according to a Dec. 12, 2009, announcement of her marriage to Andrew Cerveny Jr., also a dermatologist, in The New York Times. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and earned her medical degree at Tulane University.
She met her husband in 2004 while both were residents at the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans.
"It's just mind-boggling,'' said Thomas Nicotri, one of Cerveny's professors during her residency in New Orleans and who had seen her and her husband at dinner two months ago. "They looked healthy and happy. It seemed like they were on top of the world. They had everything.''
Cerveny's achievements included winning the 1995 America's Junior Miss competition as a teenager from Blackwood, New Jersey. The prize was a $30,000 scholarship she used to attend Duke.
Cerveny's work as a doctor also drew praise on the social media app Yelp. Posts there called her "a beautiful soul," "friendly, helpful, awesome" and a "doctor with a great bedside manner, very kind and encouraging."