SDPD Homicide Detectives Make Arrest in Man's Mysterious Death

Initially, police believed the 46-year-old man had overdosed because there were no visual signs of trauma

San Diego police detectives arrested a man accused of knocking down a victim during a robbery and leaving him on the curb with serious injuries. 

Jorge Damian Rodriguez, 22, of San Diego, was arrested Tuesday and booked on charges of murder and robbery, police said. The victim, identified as 46-year-old Somphan Bangphraxay, remains on life support. 

Bangphraxay was found lying semi-conscious in the 3800 block of Highland, near the City Heights Weingart Library in San Diego's Fairmont Village neighborhood, SDPD Lieutenant Mike Holden. His body was half on the curb, half on the street. 

Initially, police believed the victim had overdosed because there were no visual signs of trauma. 

However, once he was taken to a local hospital, doctors discovered Bangphraxay had suffered internal head trauma consistent with an attack, possibly with some type of object. 

Police returned to where they had found Bangphraxay and launched a homicide investigation. 

During their investigation, they found video surveillance of the incident, which helped them piece together the mysterious case. Rodriguez allegedly knocked down the victim and took something from his pocket. Then, he dragged the victim's body to the curb.  

Bangphraxay is on life support and is not expected to survive. The victim was homeless and had lived in the area for some time. 

Authorities hope to have more information on a cause and manner of death when an autopsy is performed. 

No further information is available. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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