Autopsy: Transient man, 52, found in Bellingham ditch died from drugs or heart disease


BELLINGHAM - An autopsy found no signs of foul play Tuesday morning, Nov. 26, after a man was found dead, facedown in a ditch, near the Sehome Haggen parking lot on Monday.

The specific cause of death of the 52-year-old transient man remained under investigation, pending toxicology tests. But it's suspected he succumbed to either illicit drug use or natural causes related to heart disease, said Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel.

A landscaping crew found the body around 2 p.m. Monday in muddy ditch water near the northeast edge of the parking lot. The ditch was overgrown with cattails, and investigators believe the man had been dead, obscured from view, for a timeframe of 10 days to several weeks. He had not been reported missing.

Police won't release his name until they notify his family.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or Read his Dispatcher Blog at or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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