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No sign of foul play in death

February 2, 2012

Preliminary autopsy reports show no signs of foul play in the death of a Big Spring man discovered Jan. 2 in a ditch, according to investigators, but a cause of death can't be determined until toxicology reports are finalized.

The body of Jose Regalado, 70, was discovered near the 1100 block of West FM 700 shortly after 11 a.m., according to Sgt. Tony Everett, public information officer with the Big Spring Police Department.

“Officers responded to the area in response to a call of a subject laying along side the road,” Everett said. “Officers found the body and later identified him. There were no signs of foul play and no signs of trauma to suggest he had been hit by a vehicle.”

According to Justice of the Peace Kathryn Wiseman, who ordered the autopsy on Regalado, the preliminary report from the medical examiner has helped investigators narrow their search for the man's cause of death.

“Dr. Parsons of South Plains Forensics listed almost every section of the preliminary autopsy as 'pending investigatigation.' However, he did find mild ventricular hypertrophy and hypertensive heart disease,” Wiseman said. “The first thing we checked for was whether or not he was hit by a vehicle, and I feel like we've been able to pretty much rule that out at this point. It looks like a natural deatht, however, until we have the toxicology report back, I won't be able to make an official ruling one way or the other.”

Everett agreed, saying he expects the cause of death will be by natural causes.

“In a case like this, you have to cover all of the bases, and that's what we're going to do,” Everett said. “There are no signs of foul play at this point. Once we have the toxicology report back, i feel like we'll be able to make a determination in the case.”

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