MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

June 14, 2013

Cause of Sanders’ death unknown

ME report done, investigator says death may be natural

By Elizabeth Ridenour
Phoenix Staff Writer

— The cause of death for a man whose body was found in September in a wooded area was officially ruled as unknown, said Lt. Bobby Lee of the Muskogee Police Department.

The report from the state medical examiner was released Thursday for Ronald Ernesto Sanders.

“We will follow up on any leads we get that indicate how he died,” Lee said. “Right now, it appears he could have died of natural causes.”

Sanders’ body was discovered the afternoon of Sept. 28 after residents in the 600 block of 12th Street saw a dog running down the street with a decomposed human arm.

The remainder of the body, which was unidentified at the time, was discovered a little more than an hour later in a wooded area near Terrace Boulevard.

Sanders had last been seen at a house at 1611 Fairmont St., on Aug. 2. That house is less than a mile northeast from where Sanders’ body was discovered.

Lee said the report does not indicate there was any sign of foul play or trauma to Sanders, 46, so it's possible Sanders could have died of natural causes.

“If we get any leads that indicate foul play, we’ll definitely follow up on them,” Lee said. “Right now, we just have no indications or evidence there was foul play involved. There was nothing at the scene, and the medical examiner couldn’t find any evidence of foul play.”

Reach Elizabeth Ridenour at 684-2929 or eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com.