05/31/2013 08:34 EDT | Updated 07/31/2013 05:12 EDT

Saint John, N.B., police rule out charges in hospital death, call for inquest

SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Police in Saint John, N.B., said Friday they won't lay charges in the death of a psychiatric patient at a local hospital last year but they are calling for a public inquest.

Twenty-two-year-old Serena Perry of Hampton, N.B., was found dead in February 2012 at the Saint John Regional Hospital, which is part of the Horizon Health Network.

A month later, police arrested a suspect in connection with her death.

But Saint John police Sgt. Jay Henderson said investigators have consulted with the Crown and decided no charges will be laid.

Henderson said a forensic pathology exam could not confirm the cause of death.

"Nobody likes to have an outcome such as this," said Henderson. "Nobody likes to see that, but we're hoping the public inquest will take place."

Henderson said there are many unanswered questions surrounding the events leading to Perry's death at the hospital, although he would not go into detail.

"The goal is basically to determine the process that transpired at the hospital and hoping that maybe things will be more efficient in the future."

Police chief Bill Reid has requested that the coroner's office hold an inquest.

The coroner's office has yet to say what it will do.

As for the Horizon Health Network, it issued a brief statement saying if there is a an inquest, the health authority "welcomes the opportunity to participate."

Horizon Health Network is the largest health-care organization in Atlantic Canada serving New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

(News 88.9, The Canadian Press)