By Devin Rose
The 17-year-old Wisconsin girl who was found in an Oak Park apartment building in November died of accidental opiate intoxication, according to an autopsy report from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
But the family of Kimberly Ciotola is still looking to shed some light on the case, which police have said is still an open investigation though it has yet to yield any charges.
Ciotola, of Sheboygan, Wis., was found in the hallway of a building at 855 Lake St. the morning of Nov. 8. Police said there was evidence of drug use at the scene, including heroin and paraphernalia used to inject it. She died upon arrival at Rush Oak Park Hospital.
The previous evening, Ciotola had taken a Greyhound bus from Wisconsin to downtown Chicago, where she was picked up by a 22-year-old man she'd met online. The man had previously been a resident of the building and was able to gain access to an empty unit in the building.
Oak Park Police Commander LaDon Reynolds said last week that police had not received the medical examiner's report and that no charges had been filed in the case. When asked if anyone was being questioned, Reynolds said, "the investigation is continuing."
Ciotola's death was "wholly unexpected," according to her older brother, Davis, in an email. "There is nothing in her history to suggest any past drug use," he said, adding his family has gotten no information about the cause of death.
According to a supervisor in the Records Department at the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, the case is closed.
While they are optimistic police will continue to search for answers, Davis Ciotola said his family finds it odd that the man his sister was with was released without punishment after "accompanying a minor into a vacant apartment he had no right to be in."
Ciotola also questioned whether the man was responsible for the drugs and paraphernalia found in the unit.
"We would just like to know what happened," he said.
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