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Meth cause of death for man found in tree


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record


NM Medical investigators find no evidence of trauma

The man whose body was found in a tree in southeast Roswell in June died from complications of methamphetamine toxicity in a manner of death ruled accidental, according to an autopsy performed by the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator.
Initially, 30-year-old Sergio Alexander Salas was reported missing to the Roswell Police Department on June 2 by his mother. Six days later, the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a body found suspended in a tree in a “very difficult position.”
The body was 15 feet above the ground on a farm southeast of East Brasher Road and South Atkinson Avenue.

While authorities were unable to make a positive identification, medical investigators confirmed the body as Salas by fingerprinting.
An investigation also revealed that Salas was last seen alive three or four days before he was found by ranch workers in the area.

“This 30-year-old man, Mr. Sergio Salas, died of complications of methamphetamine toxicity,” medical investigators wrote. “According to reports, he was found deceased in a moderate state of decomposition hanging by his legs from a branch of a tree approximately 15 feet from the ground. His head, torso, and arms were hanging down from the branch.”

The autopsy included a full-body postmortem computed tomography scan that revealed there was no evidence of trauma or natural disease.
“Postmortem toxicology revealed a very high concentration of methamphetamine,” medical investigators wrote. “The high concentration of methamphetamine could explain the death in and of itself.”

Medical investigators said positional asphyxia, from being trapped upside down, while under the influence of methamphetamine might have been a contributing factor to Salas’ death.

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“The cause of death is best certified as due to complications of methamphetamine toxicity,” medical investigators said. “The manner of death is accident.”
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.


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