Eureka Police: Old Town Death Appears to be Self-Inflicted

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Police taped off the area near where the man was found on Nov. 2. - EPD
  • EPD
  • Police taped off the area near where the man was found on Nov. 2.
The Eureka Police Department reports that a man who died Nov. 2 after being found with a severe neck wound in Old Town next to a broken wine bottle appears to have somehow injured himself.

According to a news release, the EPD investigation indicates the 48-year-old man bought the wine about 30 minutes before he was found, with video surveillance showing he was alone and that no one approached the J and Third streets site where he was located lying on the sidewalk until the reporting party called police.

A Nov. 6 autopsy determined the cause of death to be “sharp force trauma to the neck.”

“The autopsy results coupled with the video surveillance and lack of any disturbance reports during a high traffic time, lead the Eureka Police Department to believe that a homicide did not take place,” the EPD release states. “Based on the investigation, it appears the fatal injury was somehow self-inflicted with the wine bottle.”

Read the EPD release below: 
On November 2, 2020, at about 11:30 a.m., the Eureka Police Department began investigating a suspicious death that occurred at J and 3 rd Streets in Eureka.

Officers located a 48-year-old male laying on the sidewalk with an apparent puncture wound to his neck. A broken wine bottle with blood on it was also located. The male was transported to the hospital where is was pronounced deceased.

Due to the nature of the wound, EPD Detectives responded and began processing the scene as an apparent homicide. Over the course of the week, investigators discovered video surveillance from multiple angles and locations. Surveillance showed the male had purchased a bottle of wine shortly after 11:00 a.m. near 4th and J Streets.

Further video surveillance shows the male walking alone to the area of J and 3rd Streets where he was found down on the ground. Video surveillance does not depict the exact events that resulted in his death but it does show him alone in the area. He was not approached by anyone until the reporting party found him and called police.

On November 6, 2020, the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy. The cause of death was determined to be sharp force trauma to the neck. The autopsy results coupled with the video surveillance and lack of any disturbance reports during a high traffic time, lead the Eureka Police Department to believe that a homicide did not take place. Based on the investigation, it appears the fatal injury was somehow selfinflicted with the wine bottle.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Terry Liles at tliles@ci.eureka.ca.gov or (707) 441-4010.

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