Editor's note: The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office amended its reported cause of death for Carl Salayer on Aug. 21, 2014. Officials say he died from probable environmental exposure, not methemphetamine intoxication, as they initially believed.
A missing Ramona man found dead in a field was killed by methamphetamine intoxication, according to a medical examiner’s autopsy.
Before his death, Carl Salayer, 67, suffered from Parkinson’s disease and other medical problems from his time working at the San Onofre nuclear plant, the report says, and his medications had caused dementia-type symptoms and paranoia.
So when his wife reported him missing on June 17, search and rescue teams classified him as an at-risk senior and immediately spread out to find him.
However, deputies called off the search after four days and no signs of Salayer.
Eight days after the missing man was last seen, a couple living on Chablis Road reported a foul odor near their home to San Diego County Sheriff’s officials.
Deputies searched the area and found Salayer’s decomposing body in a field full of thick brush.
When medical examiners performed an autopsy on him, they discovered hydromorphone – a prescription drug – and methamphetamine in his system.
Their report states it was acute methamphetamine intoxication that killed him, but environmental exposure, Brugada syndrome and Parkinson’s disease probably contributed to his death, which was classified as an accident.
Salayer had no history of drug use, according to his autopsy.