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Salvador Ramirez Sr., 46 [Updated]

Salvador Ramirez Sr., a 46-year-old Latino, died Thursday, March 25, in the 200 block of East Navilla Place in Covina, according to Los Angeles County coroner's officials.

An initial report from the coroner listed Ramirez's case as a homicide and gave the cause of death as a gunshot to the head. Coroner's officials later deferred a final determination.

Lt. Patrick Buchanan of the Covina Police Department, who is investigating the case, told The Times that Ramirez did not die from a gunshot wound to the head and had not been shot at all.

Buchanan said investigators are awaiting autopsy results from the coroner’s office, which will take another six to eight weeks, before deciding whether they will proceed with a homicide investigation.

When asked for the circumstances surrounding Ramirez's death, Buchanan said that Ramirez was found unresponsive by his roommate and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Times is continuing to look into this case to reconcile the death accounts from police and the coroner's office.

[Updated April 1 at 4:17: Ed Winter, a spokesman for the coroner's office, confirmed that the victim's cause of death has been deferred. Winter said Ramirez suffered from a penetrating wound to the head, however investigators are still trying to determine what caused the trauma.]

[Updated Feb. 28, 2011: Ramirez's death was ruled an accident, coroner's officials said. He fell at his home and died from blunt-force trauma to the head. Officials said Ramirez was an alcoholic who suffered from cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver.]

-- Sarah Ardalani

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