Alcohol cited in Junction man’s death

Alcohol intoxication was a significant factor in the death of a man whose body was discovered Wednesday morning on a downtown sidewalk, authorities said Thursday.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office said Celso A. Salazar, 60, a Grand Junction resident, was walking to his home when he apparently collapsed and couldn’t get up.

An autopsy showed he died of hypothermia, the coroner said.

Salazar’s body was discovered Wednesday by a woman walking to work around 6 a.m., on the sidewalk near the west-side alleyway off Second Street, between Chipeta and Ouray avenues.

Authorities found several of his belongings, including tennis shoes, nearby.

The death was the second in less than a day investigated by the Coroner’s Office, and the Grand Junction Police Department.

The coroner’s office Thursday said that Brian J. Merola, 57, a Grand Junction resident, died of natural causes.

His body was discovered by friends Tuesday night at an apartment in the 1400 block of Bunting Avenue.


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