PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A man who was found dead in a car in Pawtucket Thursday morning died of natural causes, the Pawtucket Police Department said Friday.
According to police, 56-year-old Augusto Morais was found dead inside a running car in the parking lot of Woodlawn Auto on Mineral Spring Avenue.
“My employees came in between 7 and 8 and they noticed a car running on the side. And, there was somebody in the car,” said body shop owner Gary Verduchi. “So they went to wake him and they couldn’t wake him up. So, they called me. I told them to call police.”
Police said an initial review of the surveillance cameras at the business showed a physical altercation between two individuals in front of the car Morais was located in.
Before turning the surveillance video over to police, Verduchi said he watched it with his employees. They say it showed the victim being assaulted.
“The altercation was right in this area. It happened right in front of the two vehicles. It looked like he was trying to rob him or something,” an employee told Eyewitness News.
An autopsy by the State Medical Examiner’s Office and detailed review of the footage by officials determined Morais was not involved in the altercation, and that his death was a result of natural causes.
Verduchi and his employees know Morais because he purchases a car from them earlier this week.
According to employee Warren Cherry, he was shocked when he found out Morais was dead.
“When I found out this morning that he passed away, I was in shock,” he said. “Because he was really straightening out his life.”