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E.C. woman's death probed

February 16, 2002|By DARREN SMITH, Staff Writer

El Centro police and the county Coroner's Office are investigating the death of an El Centro woman, according to police Lt. Tim Blankenship.

Police and coroner's officials said this morning they were unsure what caused the death of Regina Smith, 39. Blankenship said for that reason the case is being dealt with as a homicide.

County Coroner Investigator Rick Williams said on Saturday an autopsy will be done to try to determine the cause of death.

Shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday police responded to a residence in the 1700 block of Main Street where Smith died at some point between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

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Smith had been visiting a male friend at the residence, who police described as an elderly man.

That man told police Smith had fallen off the couch and had appeared to pass out. He left her on the floor where she had fallen, thinking she would be all right and would sleep off alcohol she had reportedly consumed.

In the evening he told police he had checked on her and she was alive. In the morning he found she had died.

Blankenship said until police determine a cause of death they will continue to investigate it as a homicide.

However, he said there were no signs of trauma to the body and the "position of the body" was consistent with the man's story.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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