Manhasset dermatologist Kiersten Cerveny found dead in lobby of Manhattan apartment building

Bill San Antonio And Joe Nikic

A Manhasset woman was reportedly found dead Sunday morning in the lobby of an apartment building in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

A police source told the Daily News on Monday that preliminary autopsy findings show that Kiersten Cerveny, 38, who practiced at Prohealth Care Associates LLP at 2 Hillside Ave. in Williston Park, was not a homicide victim, but instead died of a cocaine overdose.

“Based on the preliminary finds, we are not treating this as a homicide case,” the source told the Daily News. “There is nothing at this point to suggest criminal activity. We have no indication, so far, of any force issue in her death.”

A law enforcement official told Newsday on Tuesday that the preliminary autopsy revealed that Cerveny had cocaine in her system but further toxicology tests were needed to determine how much was in her system and whether there were other drugs present as well.

Cerveny was discovered “unconscious and unresponsive” around 8:30 a.m. in the vestibule of the building, located at West 16th Street near Seventh Avenue, according to published reports.

She was later pronounced dead at Lenox Health Greenwich Hospital. The cause of her death will be determined by the city’s medical examiner.

A New York City police department source told Newsday that authorities have obtained video that purportedly shows two men carrying Cerveny down the stairs, and have already interviewed one of the men in the video.

According to a DNAInfo report, the mother of three died of an apparent drug overdose and was discovered with bruises around her neck that may have been caused by surgery.

Cerveny had reportedly gone out with friends earlier in the evening but later met with a 51-year-old HBO producer she had met online, and according to DNAInfo he is the man police have questioned about her death.

“She was supposed to stay with a friend,” her father, Robert Rickenbach of Scottsdale, Ariz. told the New York Daily News. “[Her husband] hasn’t heard from her.”

The two went to the 16th Street address, and the producer reportedly called 911 to notify authorities of Cerveny’s death before fleeing the scene toward Eighth Avenue.

Conflicting reports suggest Cerveny may not have been fully clothed when authorities arrived at the building, but she was identified at the scene. 

 Cerveny’s medical office is currently being protected by security and would only allow patients and doctors into the office.

A manager at the office, who when contacted by Blank Slate Media requested to remain unnamed, confirmed that Cerveny practiced in the office of dermatologist Dr. Joel Spitz.

The manager provided a statement from the office: “Dr. Cerveny was a wonderful person and doctor. This has been a terrible tragedy. Right now our thoughts and prayers are with her family.”

A telephone message to Prohealth Care Associates’ administrative office went unreturned.

The former Kiersten Rickenbach married dermatologist Andrew Cerveny in 2009, according to the couple’s New York Times wedding announcement.  

According to a CBS News report, Andrew Cerveny is not considered a suspect in Kiersten Cerveny’s death.

The couple met in 2004 as residents at the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans. When they married, she was the chief of dermatology at Brooklyn Hospital Center and an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University and earned a medical degree from Tulane University.

A New Jersey native, Cerveny was named America’s Junior Miss in 1995.

According to WebMD, Cerveny was associated with the North Shore-LIJ Health System and Winthrop-University Hospital.

“I’ve lived in the building so many years, and I’ve never heard anything like this,” Rosemarie Gulati, 70, a resident of the apartment building, told the Daily News. 

Gulati said she walked through the vestibule where Cerveny was discovered early Sunday, when she returned from having breakfast with a friend.

“The block was quiet. There was nobody around. I was only two blocks from home, but my friend wanted to walk me back,” she said. “I said I can walk the two blocks, but he insisted.” 

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Bill San Antonio And Joe Nikic

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