CLEVELAND – A social worker for Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services has died five days after an attack by a juvenile client, but the coroner said there were no signs of trauma during a preliminary autopsy.
Tashia Burch-York, 42, was attacked last Thursday in her office of the Jane Edna Hunter building, 3955 Euclid Ave, and she died Tuesday. The coroner’s office said her husband found her dead at home on Tuesday.
Her employer said it is unknown if there is a connection between the attack and her death. The department said the attacker was a 15-year-old boy.
According to the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, a preliminary autopsy showed no signs of trauma, but the actual cause of death has not been determined. The investigation on the cause of death has been deferred pending other tests.
During the incident in which Burch-York was attacked, the panic button was sounded at the facility and security responded adequately to the situation, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. She left work under her own power after the attack.
FitzGerald said he called Burch-York over the weekend to commend her for her service, and she said she was shaken up but doing OK.
Investigators at the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office said the teen has not been arrested or charged.
Burch-York had worked for Children and Family Services for 16 years as a supervisor in the adoption department.
“The incident that happened at Children and Family Services is a reminder of the difficult and often dangerous situations our social workers confront every day,” FitzGerald said in a release. “It is important for all of us to take a moment to grieve the loss of an employee who was loved by her family, friends and co-workers.”
Crisis counseling has been offered to her colleagues.
A person who answered the phone at the woman’s home told the Associated Press the family is not ready to talk about the death.