What Happened to Marsha Mehran


On December 15, an open verdict was recorded at an inquest into the death of Marsha by Coroner John O’Dwyer in Castlebar  Co Mayo, Ireland.

The Coroner heard at the hearing that Marsha Mehran was found dead in last April in her rented apartment, and that she had been leading a reclusive life, immersing herself in writing a book.

Marsha Mehran, 36, the author of Pomegranate Soup and Rosewater and Soda Bread, signed a lease on a property in January in order to write and finalise her two books. (At the time she was working on two books: Pistachio Rain a sequel to her first two books and a stand-alone novel, The Margaret Thatcher School of Beauty).

On April 12th, Marsha, in response to her local estate agent who had  asked her to meet and discuss with her about the overdue rent,  said in a text massage that  she had been vomiting blood for the previous few weeks, and that she would get back to her in a few days and to see what she was going to do about her things. finishing with : “I am still pretty sick.”

The agent texted back to ask Marsha if she had been to a doctor and was there anything she could do for her, but she got no reply. After receiving no reply to numerous phone calls between April 12th and April 21nd, Mrs Walsh called to the apartment three times. Finally, on April 30th, she banged on doors and windows. After failing to get a reply gained entry and found Marsha face down on the floor wearing only a woollen cardigan. That is when she calls the police (Garda).

The Garda who investigated the death have said that there was no evidence of foul play.

When I gained access to Marsha’s house on fifth of May, together with Marsha’s ex husband, Christopher Collins and the Garda, I found that her house was a in a compete disarray.

The post-mortem examination, and the subsequent laboratory testings and the study of Marsha’s medical history, and with the consideration of her recent vomiting blood showed that she had a history of gastrointestinal symptoms.

According to Dr Nemeth although overall findings suggest the cause of death was related to inflammatory bowel disease resulting in electrolyte imbalance,  there is no satisfactory  evidence to support this theory.

According to Dr Nemeth the cause of death could not be based on vague speculations, and he concluded that the cause of death and underlying causes were unknown.

The Coroner O’Dwyer has concluded that Marsha appeared to have become reclusive as she threw herself into the task of writing a book. There was absolutely no evidence as to what had happened in the apartment. Therefore, he felt the appropriate ruling was an open verdict.

I can’t express the depth of my sorrow for her loss and for the sad circumstances surrounding her death. It is not possible to explain in words the extent to which Marsha has suffered during the last few years, months, and particularly the last few days, if not weeks of her life. Her house condition was beyond being wretched and sorrowful.  She died lonely, broken, in sickness and in pain. The signs of sickness and suffering were everywhere. No food and no money in house. I found only one euro and a five US dollar note.

After seeing her place, I can only imagine what happened to her during the last few days of her life.   When inside her room where she had died, I could visualise, and feel through my bones, the agony and pain she had gone through, and subsequently, I have mentally rehearsed over and over her dying under such conditions. However, the questions are why how and what brought that cheerful vivacious young writer to such a sad ending.

I will expound on these questions in the future posts.

Thank you!