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West Point man may have died from medical conditions


Isabelle Altman



A preliminary report from the State Medical Examiner's Office suggests a man who died after an alleged altercation in West Point over the weekend most likely died because of preexisting medical conditions. 


David Ryals, 48, of 713 Dix St., was pronounced dead at North Mississippi Medical Center in West Point Sunday after officers with the West Point Police Department responded to a call about a fight happening on his street. An autopsy Tuesday did not reveal any signs of blunt force trauma or other injuries that would have caused death, according to a press release from WPPD.  


Investigators initially arrested Kaylee Rhea, 22, of 9377 Baker Road, and Nicholas Phyfer, 25, of 288 East St., on suspicion of murder Sunday afternoon. However, neither Rhea nor Phyfer were ever officially charged with murder. Rhea has been released, and Phyfer is being held on an unrelated trespassing charge. 


"We knew there were many extenuating circumstances but now that we've heard from the Medical Examiner's Office, we lack sufficient evidence that their actions caused the death of Mr. Ryals," WPPD Chief Tim Brinkley said. 


Ryals' death is still under investigation, and authorities are asking anyone with information to call Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151 or WPPD at 494-1244.




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