Police: Officer dropped man off at home before body found in East St. Louis

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 28 at 5:43 PM

(KMOV) – Police say a man whose body was found in East St. Louis Wednesday was not the victim of a fatal shooting as initially reported. And now police are investigating the final hours leading up to his death.

According to police, a person was walking along N. 28th between State and Ohio around 7 a.m. when they saw a body in a field.

The passerby called police, who arrived to the scene and found the body of 52-year-old David Shephard.

Police said the county coroner initially said Shephard had been shot, but later determined he died of hypothermia after an autopsy found no bullet entry or exit points.

The coroner says the cause of death remained unclear, though he considers the death suspicious. Toxicology tests are pending.

As investigators try to track the last hours of Shephard’s life, they know he was in his broken-down truck Monday night and most of Tuesday.

In the parking lot of Darrell & Missy’s Bar and Grill in Caseyville, the owners say he was never inside drinking, just sitting in his truck.  

Melissa Langelia checked on Shephard and brought him coffee and a coat to stay warm.

“I just knew that he was lost. He kept saying somebody was going to come, his people were at work, he just seemed out of sorts,” said Langelia.

By Tuesday afternoon, Shephard had been in the parking lot in his truck for several hours.

Langelia called authorities and police and paramedics arrived to the scene. But they told her that Shephard was not a threat to himself or others, so there wasn’t much they could do.

“He wouldn’t come in, he wouldn’t use the phone,” said Langelia, “figured they’d just take him then. But they said since he wasn’t suicidal or not combative they couldn’t take him, especially if he didn’t agree to it.”

Illinois state police say a Caseyville police officer gave Shephard a ride to his home in East St. Louis Tuesday evening. The next morning, his body was found in a lot near his home.

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