January 4, 2011 in City

Man dies in walk-in cooler at Spokane Taco Bell

By The Spokesman-Review

A man was found dead inside a walk-in cooler at a Spokane Taco Bell on Monday, police said today.

Richard Thomas, 42, apparently died after locking himself in the cooler at the restaurant at North Monroe Street and West Boone Avenue, but he does not appear to have died as a result of exposure and there were no signs of violence, Spokane police said.

Employees called police about 8 p.m. and said a man walked into the restaurant and locked himself in the cooler, which is used to store food. Police removed the cooler’s door and found Thomas dead. They don’t know how Thomas barricaded the cooler, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

“He walked straight in past employees and went in the cooler,” DeRuwe said. “When we got there, he was dead.”

An autopsy is pending.

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