Authorities have ruled the death of an Atlantic man in May as accidental. Atlantic Police Lieutenant Bill Ayers says an autopsy by the State Medical Examiner’s office on the body of 26-year-old Justin Eugene Hoeck indicated the cause of death was smothering and acute intoxication.
The results show Hoeck — whose body was found in a culvert along Highway 6 near the west edge of Atlantic — had a blood alcohol content of point one-eight. Hoeck had a medical condition which caused him to have seizures, but Ayers says it’s not clear what part the seizure disorder and/or hypothermia may have played in his death.
The M-E’s report ruled out Hoeck being struck by a vehicle, that he fell or jumped from the roadway surface into the culvert, or that there was any indication of foul play. Hoeck was reported missing May 3rd, after he failed to return to his Atlantic home after leaving a party at a private residence early that same morning. His body was found two days later by an Iowa DOT employee conducting a bridge inspection.