San Diego

A Colombian pathologist has been dispatched to San Diego to examine the body of a woman who was extradited to the United States to face drug charges and died Sunday in her cell at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Cesar Augusto Giraldo, director of the Medellin Branch of the Forensic Institute, was scheduled to arrive in San Diego today to determine whether Lieselotte Eberleim de Esser, 55, a German national who lived in Cali, Colombia, died of a heart attack at MCC.

“We invited him to come, and he is coming,” said San Diego County Coroner David Stark, who said the invitation to Giraldo is a courtesy.

Eberleim was one of six people accused of drug trafficking and extradited May 6 from Colombia to the United States under the provisions of a new treaty. She was charged with conspiring to move large amounts of drugs into the United States.


Eberleim’s death Sunday was tentatively ruled a heart attack, after an autopsy.

“Initially that death appears to be from natural causes,” Stark said. “She does have a history of hypertension and cardiac disease.”

Extensive tests are performed on anyone who dies while incarcerated. Stark said the results of further tests would be known Friday.