Friday, August 7, 2009

Authorities identify body found in Hailey

Toxicology screen under way to determine cause of death


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Authorities have identified a body found in Hailey earlier this week as that of a 38-year-old Hailey man.

Blaine County Coroner Russell Mikel confirmed Wednesday that the deceased is Dennis Lyke. Mikel said Lyke has family in the Hailey area, and they have been notified of his death. Lyke leaves behind a wife and two children.

The cause of death is yet to be determined. Hailey police found no sign of foul play but are continuing their investigation.

Mikel said a physical autopsy is not planned because there was no evidence of "physical trauma." He expects that the cause of death will be determined by a toxicology screen that is being conducted. Mikel said he is not sure when results will be available.

"We're still looking into all aspects of what happened," Mikel said.

An overdose of prescription medication is being investigated as a possible cause.

Lyke was found Tuesday around 7 a.m. on west Spruce Street between Main and River streets. He was slumped over in a seated position on a railroad tie used for landscaping in front of the Peak Media Building.

Blood was found at the scene, but Mikel said that bodies often leak blood through tissue after death occurs. The coroner explained that Lyke lost blood from his nose, which was the lowest part of his body at the time he died.

"There was a small amount of blood there, but it wasn't attributable to any injury," Mikel said.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Wood River Chapel. Mikel, a mortician at the chapel, said services have not yet been scheduled but are planned for sometime next week.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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