Police say a preliminary autopsy revealed the cause of death for Shawn Rackley, 44, to be freshwater drowning.
Rackley was found in an overflow drainage creek at 44th Avenue and Terry Street about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Officials say a possible contributing factor was the state of Rackley's health. Capt. James Sharpe said Rackley had an extensive history of seizures due to epilepsy and he had a similar incident last week where he fell off a bridge near a body of water at Highland Park. That incident required him to receive medical treatment for an head injury.
Because Rackley death has been classified as a freshwater drowning, the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks was contacted and will assist in any further investigation of the case.
Concern over what could have happened to the victim turned to sadness for his family, after authorities announced Rackley's death was being classified a tragic accident.
It appears Rackley may have fallen off a ledge as a result of an epileptic seizure, a condition he was known to have. In fact, last week he had a similar situation for which he had to seek medical treatment for a head injury.
"We did not make that determination until we actually had the body examined at the state crime lab," said Capt. James Sharpe. "We did not rule out any foul play. There was nothing there to indicate it, but we were relying on autopsy results to give us our final determination on the cause of death."
When authorities notified next of kin, they discovered Rackley suffered from epileptic seizures.
" We found his ID on his person," said Sharpe. "We came back and researched our computer listings of him."
Sharpe said a woman who knows Rackley well informed them he suffered from 3-4 seizures a week.
Neighbor Robert Johnson calls the death tragic.
"Kids sometimes stop there and look in the ditch, but other than that, I don't think anyone hangs out there at all," Johnson said.
It make sense that children spotted the victim as they walked home from school. Rackley wasn't known to hang out in this specific spot, but he did live a of couple of blocks away and was known to walk through the neighborhood.