Strangling ruled as causing death of hospital patient

September 04, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The Baltimore man found dead in his room at Springfield Medical Center Sunday died of strangulation, state police said yesterday.

The victim, Wendall Dezurn, 29, was found unconscious in his bed and was pronounced dead after failed attempts by hospital staff to revive him.

"We know what he died of, but it is still unconfirmed as to exactly how he died," said state police Cpl. Wayne Moffatt, one of the investigators. "There is still other evidence out there that needs to be collected and evaluated before we can make that determination."

Corporal Moffatt said a state medical examiner's report confirmed the cause of death after an autopsy in Baltimore.

Mr. Dezurn's mother, Claudia Dezurn of Baltimore, said yesterday that she was told earlier her son was found "with a belt around his neck," but knows little more than that.

Susie Laster, Mr. Dezurn's sister, said the family had been told nothing further in the case -- which is being investigated as a suspicious death -- since they learned of his death from a hospital doctor.

"The doctor called and told me that at bed check he [Mr. Dezurn] was dead and that it appeared to be suicide," Ms. Laster said. "But the superintendent later told me he didn't feel it was a suicide."

Police have ruled out suicide, said 1st Sgt. Steve Reynolds of the Westminster barracks.

"We are very concerned that we have not been told anything about his death," Ms. Laster said. "Someone must have been responsible for this."

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