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Workers alerted police in death investigation case

By Staff | Jul 19, 2012

Construction workers apparently alerted authorities to the body of a man found inside a Cape Coral home Wednesday and noted they smelled gas.

At 11:27 a.m. Wednesday, the Cape fire department received a medical call about an unknown problem and a man down at a home on Southest 49th Lane.

“Two construction workers stated there was someone inside the residence who was possibly dead,” Battalion Chief Ryan Lamb said Thursday. “Workers stated there was a strong odor of gasoline coming from the home.”

Fire crews arrived and entered the home wearing protective equipment. Inside, they checked for gas levels to determine if the residence was safe.

“There were abnormal readings on the gas monitor,” Lamb said.

He added that crews did not indicate on a report what type of gas the equipment alerted to or what the levels were for the gas identified.

Cape police and Lee County EMS then entered the home. They verified that the man inside was dead and opened an investigation, according to Lamb.

As of Thursday, authorities continued to investigate the circumstances of the man’s death. CCPD was unable to release any additional information.

“The Lee County Medical Examiner’s Office has not performed an autopsy on the deceased as of this time,” Lt. Tony Sizemore wrote in a statement.

“Until such time, we are not able to confirm the manner of death,” he said.

Sizemore added that investigators were still trying to notify next of kin.

“Until such time, we will not be releasing the name of the deceased,” he said.

Joe Hansen, of 425 S.W. 49th Lane, said Wednesday that an elderly man had been renting the home for about a year and a half. The two men talked on a regular basis when Hansen would be out walking his dogs.

“He was a very nice guy,” he said, adding that the neighbor used a walker.

“I found him very interesting,” Hansen said.

He believed his neighbor was a carpenter or tradesman as he always had lumber in his truck. He may have been a veteran because he spoke of WWII.

“I thought he was a very nice man,” Hansen said.

There also was a middle-aged man who appeared to live with him, who Hansen believed had once introduced himself as the man’s son. Hansen said he spoke to him Sunday morning and the man asked for Hansen’s number for his father.

Hansen said he did not provide the man with his number at the time.