CLEARWATER, Fla., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in Clearwater, Fla., have joined a police investigation into how a 36-year-old Scientologist died while in the care of church members. Lisa McPherson's relatives say the woman, a church member for 18 years, had expressed a desire to leave the church shortly before her 1995 death. McPherson was pronounced dead Dec. 5, 1995 at a New Port Richey, Fla. , hospital where she had been driven from a hotel near St. Petersburg that is used as a Scientology retreat. Church officials told doctors McPherson spent more than two weeks at the retreat recuperating from unexplained anxiety when she "suddenly took ill." They said she distrusted doctors and refused medical treatment until the church agreed to take her to a Scientology doctor in New Port Richey, 20 miles away. The church maintains McPherson died from a severe staph infection, but an autopsy concluded she died from blood clotting and severe dehydration. A medical examiner's report says the autopsy showed evidence of injury on the woman's body, including bruises, abrasions, lesions and marks resembling insect or animal bites. McPherson's family reportedly believes she was detained by Scientologists who did not want her to leave the church. Prosecutors decline to explain why they have been called in on the case, but note they help police with investigations "on occasion." A Scientology spokesman says the church welcomes the inclusion of prosecutors in the probe and will "not be afraid of anything that comes out." --- Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---