Police said they have ruled out homicide as the manner of death for an 82-year-old man found in the street outside his house on Dec. 1.
Investigators are leaning toward an accidental cause of death for Charles Daniels, of 326 Cottage Grove Road, Capt. Stephen Hajdasz said Thursday.
Hajdasz said there was no evidence that Daniels had been shot, stabbed, or struck by a car. There was no debris in the road that would indicate a collision with a vehicle.
Also, a check of surveillance video from McDonald’s restaurant across the street showed that no cars went by his home after he was dropped off earlier in the night, he said.
A neighbor called police shortly after midnight Nov. 30 to say someone was lying in the road. Daniels was found lying by the curb of a service road in front of his house, which runs parallel to the busy Cottage Grove Road, or Route 218.
Police said he had a serious injury to his right hip from “a heavy impact” and minor cuts to his hand. Although there is no official cause of death yet, investigators say he may have fallen on his front stoop. He may have made his way to his mailbox and collapsed, he said.
A neighbor had reported seeing him sitting on the stoop earlier. Daniels didn’t have a cellphone and the only landline phone was upstairs, Hajdasz said.