Addis authorities say they don’t believe foul play led to the death of a man found dead in his home across from the town’s police station, but the West Baton Rouge coroner has classified the case as a homicide and the district attorney’s office says it will take a look.
Addis Police Chief Ricky Anderson said Thursday investigators believe Jeffrey Tircuit, 63, may have died of asphyxiation inside his home along La. 1, perhaps sometime last week. His body was found Monday afternoon.
Portions of Tircuit's body were bound, but investigators are still trying to determine whether someone else was involved.
“We’ve got a dead body. We don’t have a murder,” Anderson said. “There was no blunt trauma, no signs of foul play.”
But Chief Deputy Coroner Yancy Guerin said Thursday that an autopsy confirmed the death was caused by asphyxiation and was ruled a homicide. He said Tircuit’s medical history would suggest he wasn’t able to bind himself, but Guerin said the details he can release about the case are limited due to Addis PD’s ongoing investigation.
Assistant District Attorney Tony Clayton said earlier Thursday his office has had limited involvement with the case so far and he hasn’t received any kind of case file from the Addis Police Department, but based on the few details available he believed there is the possibility that foul play could have been involved.
Anderson said his office has not yet completed its investigation.
“There’s too many what-ifs going on for anyone to say we’ve got a murder, nobody had made any determination on that,” he said.
Anderson said the State Police crime lab is working on the case to determine how long Tircuit was dead before his body was found, but preliminary information puts estimates at three to seven days.
He said if another person happened to be involved, then the case may rise to the level of negligent homicide, but those details have not been determined yet.