- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A woman found dead along with her infant son in a western Pennsylvania apartment died of pneumonia rather than a drug overdose as first suspected, authorities said Saturday.

Sara Kessler, 22, and her 9-month-old son, Carey, were found dead March 6 in their Millvale apartment.

The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said that her death was a result of natural causes after an autopsy concluded that she succumbed to bronchial pneumonia caused by a bacterial infection of the heart.

Officials said the child, with no one to care for him, died of dehydration. His death was ruled accidental.

Police said originally that they suspected an overdose, but the medical examiner’s office said drugs played no role in her death.

Sara Kessler’s brother, Matthew Knaus, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the loss has been eased by learning that his sister wasn’t responsible for their deaths.

“It’s tragic either way, but it makes a difference to know it wasn’t her fault,” Knaus said. “It’s a lot easier for me knowing that there was nothing anybody could do.”

Knaus said he had spoken to his sister a few days earlier, and she said she was feeling a little better but was still sick.

“I question myself, why didn’t she ask me to take her to the hospital? Maybe she didn’t realize she was that sick,” he said.

Sara Kessler’s mother died of natural causes in the same apartment in November, police said. Neighbors said she had struggled to cope with her mother’s death.

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