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Death of Medford Man Found in Ditch Ruled Accidental

Police found a body in the ditch near a bike path off Biddle Road on Monday night.

Posted: Nov. 14, 2018 2:25 PM
Updated: Nov. 14, 2018 2:32 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — 

UPDATE: Despite announcing initial suspicions of homicide, the Medford Police Department (MPD) has ruled the death of Ryan Snyder an accident, according to a statement released on Wednesday afternoon.

"The scene initially looked suspicious and investigators treated the case as a homicide until proven otherwise," MPD said.

But on Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m., the Deputy State Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on Snyder's body and determined that the death was accidental.

"The exact cause of death remains under investigation, but Dr. Olson noticed changes to the body consistent with hypothermia," MPD said.

MPD says that Dr. Olsen is still awaiting results from a toxicology test in order to determine the exact cause of Snyder's death. He found no apparent evidence of "homicidal violence."

"Investigators noted the low temperature the previous evening to be 25 degrees, and believed he was out in the elements with light clothing during that time period," MPD concluded.

(Updated 11/14/18 at 2:25 p.m.

UPDATE: Investigators have identified the body of a man found dead in an irrigation ditch near Biddle Road and Stevens Street on Monday just after 4 p.m.

39-year-old Ryan Michael Snyder was found in the ditch just off of the bike path by a passerby, according to the Medford Police Department (MPD). Snyder's next of kin has been notified of his death.

MPD believes that the death appeared suspicious. They have decided to treat it as a homicide "unless proven otherwise." An autopsy is set for Wednesday at 9 a.m.

"Investigators are still working on determining the time of his death as the area where he was found was not easily seen by the public," MPD said.

Snyder is decribed as being 5'10" and 175 lbs. MPD says he was wearing a blue and gray jacket, tan shirt, dark denim pants and black shoes at the time of his death, and has a large tattoo on the front of his neck.

"Investigators are still working on determining the time of his death as the area where he was found was not easily seen by the public. If anyone has had contact with Snyder in the last couple days, please contact us, 770-4783," MPD said.

INITIAL REPORT: Police are investigating a man found dead in ditch in Medford Monday night. 

The man was found in an irrigation ditch off of a bike path near Biddle Road and Stevens Street. 

Police have very little information at this time. 

Newswatch 12 has a reporter on the scene. We'll update you as more information is available. 

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