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Biecheler died from heart attack, coroner reports

Shawn Foucher • Nov 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Brian Biecheler, 33, was found dead in his Huron home at 6:15 p.m. Oct. 28, about nine hours after he suffered medical problems at work. He left work early that morning after falling ill, which came immediately after he helped deal with an unruly child who refused to go from one part of the detention home to another.

Biecheler died of a heart attack, according to autopsy results from the Lucas County coroner’s office. The report lists “acute coronary thrombosis” as the cause of death. In layman’s terms, he had a 40 percent blockage in a coronary artery and a blockage of up to 60 percent in another.

“This young of an age, it’s uncommon,” Baxter said. “A guy that’s 33 years old, that’s very unlikely to have that.”

Baxter said there’s no definitive way to tell if any on-the-job stress triggered Biecheler’s heart attack.

“Some people can be running around with this kind of (condition) and be fine, and just have a little chest tightness or something like that,” Baxter said. “He could have probably had problems with this situation and just with the increasing exertion, caused him to have more symptoms. He already had the 40 percent blockage.”

Erie County deputies and Huron police were investigating the case, but they were waiting on autopsy results to determine if Biecheler’s exertion at work may have contributed to his death.

With the results released Monday, investigators said they’re likely to close the investigation, although they’ll confer with the Erie County prosecutor’s office first.

Biecheler was one of three corrections officers who helped move an unruly child from one of end of the facility to the other, juvenile court Judge Robert DeLamatre said. He fell ill immediately after the incident and then vomited at work, and a staff nurse told him he should go to the hospital. He went home, and a family member later found him dead.

Biecheler also had diabetes, according to his family.

In the end, the exertion at work that day could have been a contributing factor to Biecheler’s death, Baxter said, but it’s difficult to make an absolute determination.

At the very least, Biecheler’s death at such a young age can be cautionary to others.

“First thing, make sure you look at your family history (to see) if there’s a family history of coronary heart disease,” Baxter said. “The best thing is to see your doctor, and look at your risk factors and look at all the things — make sure you have good cholesterol.”

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