Did Siddhartha die of drowning or cardiac arrest?

V G Siddhartha.

“Did 60-year-old Siddhartha die of drowning or cardiac arrest ?,” a question seemed to haunt experts and police after his body was shifted to District Wenlock hospital’s mortuary for autopsy on Wednesday.

Fishermen Ritesh D’Souza and Pranesh said the body, which surfaced after being submerged in water for over 36 hours, was however, not bloated.

The body did not bloat as it is suspected that Siddhartha would have suffered a cardiac arrest while plunging into the river, a cop told DH on conditions of anonymity.

D’Souza said based on their experience, the body should have bloated and surfaced within 24 hours. The water was unusually cold and the salt water intrusion due to tidal movements must have delayed the decomposition process, the fishermen added. On the missing t-shirt, the fishermen suspect that Siddartha removed it before diving into the sea.

A senior officer in District Wenlock Hospital, privy to the autopsy process, maintained that the death of Siddhartha was due to drowning as ‘diatoms’ (present in the sea) were discovered in the body. Only the sample reports sent to Davangere and KMC would reveal the truth, he said.

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