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New Prairie student's cause of death released

The La Porte County Sheriff's Office has released the cause of death of 17-year-old Mark Mayfield who died at New Prairie High School on January 23.

Mayfield's cause of death was remote myocardial infarction/fibrosis resulting in fatal arrhythmia - or a heart attack.

His manner of death was determined to be natural.

The family met with La Porte County Coroner Bob Cutler and spoke with the pathologist who worked on the case by conference call on Wednesday.

The forensic pathologist said Mark suffered the fatal arrhythmia as a result of a previous, undetected heart attack.

The pathologist said the condition would have been virtually undetectable in a general examination.

“This was a very tough case to determine due to Mark’s age and outward signs of good health. No one expects a teenage athlete to suffer this type of fatal condition. Due to the overwhelming concern, we asked for testing to be fast tracked and while that was done, we are also confident in the expertise and depth at which this case was handled. While friends and family continue to grieve the loss of Mark, it is our hope that we are able to bring a sense of closure to the Mayfield family, Mark’s friends and fellow students," Cutler said in a press release.

Mike and Diane Mayfield released the following statement:

“While we continue to struggle through this terrible time, we are forever grateful for the support our family has received. The entire New Prairie Community has been incredibly supportive as has the Holy Family Church and St. Joseph High School. We cannot say enough for the help and guidance that we’ve received from the La Porte County Coroner’s Office, the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and everyone rushed to help and that worked so hard to save Mark’s life.  We have lost a wonderful, wonderful son and we hope that everyone will realize the importance of cherishing each and every moment with their children.”

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