Man beaten to death in Cole County

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COLE COUNTY- The Cole County Sheriff's Office is looking for a suspect in an assault that led to a death. 

"The problem we have is the only eye witness we have is deceased," Captain John Wheeler said. "We're using the information from the family and trying to reconstruct this crime." 

The victim was assaulted sometime on June 13 in the St. Martins area. The sheriff's office said he died days later as a result of a brain bleed.

The man did not initially want to report the assault, but his daughter called the sheriff's department three days later. On June 17, the daughter called once again to say the man was in a medically-induced coma.

"One of the daughters of the victim called and stated that her father was in the hospital in a medically induced coma," Wheeler said. "She stated her father was driving and an incident occurred somehow. Both of them ended up on the side of the road and blows were exchanged." 

The sheriff's office said details of the attack aren't clear but it possibly happened on US 50 or Route T between 1:40 and 2 p.m.

The sheriff's office is searching surveillance footage from businesses to see they can spot the victim or his car.

Wheeler said there has been some luck with spotting him on surveillance footage.

The suspect is described by the sheriff's office as "a heavy set white male, covered in tattoos and driving a blue Ford Taurus."

Wheeler said there are Facebook posts from the community regarding the case and Sheriff's office is looking at them for leads.

"The problem with social media is it takes away from the topic," Wheeler said. "We need to locate the subject and what people are more interested in is what people are putting on there." 

Wheeler said they are not treating this as a murder investigation. 

Results of an autopsy are expected in a few weeks.

[This story has been updated to reflect new information.]

 

 

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