A grand jury will investigate the death of Julia Papazian Law, the 26-year-old paralegal found dead in a bathtub in her boss’ Center City apartment last month.
Word of the inquiry came as toxicology tests revealed that at the time of her death, Law had a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.40 percent – five times the threshold for legal intoxication, according to court sources. Medical experts say a blood-alcohol content of 0.35 percent or greater may be fatal.
The District Attorney’s Office confirmed Friday that it had asked for the grand jury probe, but declined to elaborate.
Law, who worked for high-profile defense lawyer A. Charles Peruto Jr., was found facedown in his tub on May 25.
Peruto, 58, who described Law as his girlfriend, told police he was in Avalon, N.J., on the night she died. He said he learned of her death from a maintenance worker who found her body in Peruto’s Rittenhouse Square apartment.
Julia Papazian Law probably drowned in a bathtub, perhaps after a seizure, according to two law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation.
The tentative finding may sweep aside some of the speculation surrounding the death of the 26-year-old paralegal, found facedown Saturday morning in the Center City apartment belonging to her boss, defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr.
No drugs or alcohol were found at the scene, the room was undisturbed, and the liquor closet was closed, the officials said. Nothing, they said, seemed out of place.
Investigators cannot be certain of the cause of death until they review toxicology reports, which are pending. But they said Law had been frothing at the mouth, which they said seemed to indicate a seizure.