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Sweat lodge deaths caused by heat stroke

CAMP VERDE, Calif., March 17 (UPI) -- Three people who died in an Arizona sweat lodge in 2009 succumbed to heat stroke and hyperthermia, medical reports indicated.

Kirby Brown, 38, of New York; James Shore, 40, of Wisconsin; and Lizbeth Neuman, 49, of Minnesota were guests along with about 60 others at motivational speaker James A. Ray's retreat near Sedona when they became ill during a "Spiritual Warrior" session in the sweat lodge Oct. 8, 2009.

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Brown and Shore died of heat stroke shortly after emergency medical technicians arrived on the scene, the Arizona Republic reported.

Neuman's death a few days later was caused by "multisystem organ failure due to hyperthermia due to prolonged sweat lodge exposure," the autopsy, released Tuesday, concluded.

Twenty other guests fell ill during the ceremony.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow ruled the deaths were accidental and decided details photos and reports from the coroner would not be released.

Ray has pleaded innocent to manslaughter charges.

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