ER Actress Mary Mara's Cause of Death Revealed

·2 min read

Mary Mara's cause of death has been determined.

New York State police confirmed to PEOPLE that Mara died of asphyxiation — or suffocation — due to drowning.

"The Jefferson County Medical Examiner's Office performed a post-mortem examination on the decedent and determined that the decedent's manner of death was an accident, due to asphyxiation, due to warm water drowning," NYSP Troop D Public Information Officer Jack Keller said.

On Tuesday, TMZ reported that investigators thought Mara, who was 61 at the time of her death, could have slipped and hit her head while getting out of the river — which may have caused her to fall back in and drown. They specifically noted alleged "face abrasions" found on her body.

PEOPLE confirmed the report was inaccurate, with police stating, "There were no signs of any trauma to Mary's body when she was found."

RELATED: ER Actress Mary Mara Dead at 61 After Apparent Drowning in NY River: 'Everyone Loved Her'

Mary Mara during 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Swedish Auto" Screening at Crest Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/WireImage)
Mary Mara during 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival - "Swedish Auto" Screening at Crest Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/WireImage)

Matthew Simmons/WireImage

Mara died while swimming in the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent, New York, on Sunday morning. Investigators confirmed that foul play has been ruled out.

"The preliminary investigation suggests the victim drowned while swimming," they wrote in the statement. "The victim's body showed no signs of foul play and was transported to the Jefferson County Medical Examiner's Office pending an autopsy to determine an official cause of death.

Mara's rep, Craig Dorfman confirmed the ER and Criminal Minds actress's death in a statement to PEOPLE on Monday. He said she was "one of the finest actresses I ever met."

"I still remember seeing her onstage in 1992 in Mad Forest off-Broadway," Dorfman said. "She was electric, funny, and a true individual. Everyone loved her. She will be missed."

LOVE POTION #9, from left: Dale Midkif, Mary Mara, 1992. © 20th Century Fox / courtesy Everett Collection
LOVE POTION #9, from left: Dale Midkif, Mary Mara, 1992. © 20th Century Fox / courtesy Everett Collection

Everett Dale Midkiff and Mary Mara in Love Potion #9

RELATED: Mary Mara's Family Remembers Gifted ER Actress Who 'Just Missed Stardom but Always Played for Winning Teams'

Mara appeared in recurring roles on a handful of TV series, including Criminal Minds, Nash Bridges, NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Ray Donovan, The Practice, Gideon's Crossing, Star Trek: Enterprise, Lost, Dexter and Shameless, as well as appearances in Ally McBeal, Judging Amy, The West Wing, 7th Heaven, Monk, Nip/Tuck and Bones.

A line from her obituary states that Mara, "just missed stardom but always played for winning teams."