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12-158 Autopsy Confirms Drowning Death Related to Tropical Storm Debby

Who: Armando Perez (Deceased)
DOB: 4/24/41
Address: 1906 2nd Street  -  Indian Rocks Beach – Pinellas County

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Robbery Homicide Unit

Pinellas Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office

What:  Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives have conducted a death investigation on a man found deceased in flood waters outside his Indian Rocks home on Sunday, June 24th.

The Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on Tuesday June 26th, and determined the cause of death to be drowning, with heart disease as a contributory factor.

According to detectives working with the Medical Examiner’s Office, Mr. Perez may have suffered a heart attack serious enough to incapacitate him, so that he collapsed and could not remove himself from the flood waters. The death will be reported to the state as a storm related death, and an accident.

When:  Deputies responded to the home of Armando Perez on Sunday, at about 4:43 p.m.

Where:  Mr. Perez’s residence on Indian Rocks Beach.

How/Why:   When deputies arrived, paramedics were already on scene and Mr. Perez was deceased. There was ankle-deep to knee-deep water in the driveway, yard and street.

After talking to Mr. Perez’s family, deputies learned that Mr. Perez was on the phone with one of his sons who was driving over to pick him up because of the storms.  Mr. Perez was told to stay in the house until the son arrived.  Another one of Perez’s sons called too, and was on the phone with him when Mr. Perez said “they’re here.”  Knowing that his brother was on the way to pick up their father, this son thought his brother had arrived at the house – when in fact he had not.

Mr. Perez was found floating face down in the water by a neighbor who attempted CPR to no avail.  Mr. Perez’s son then arrived shortly afterwards to learn his father had expired.

The final autopsy report is not complete, but the preliminary findings in this case point to drowning as the cause of death with heart disease as a contributory factor. Detectives learned from the family that Mr. Perez did have a heart condition, and was on several medications.

The investigation continues.

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