Medical examiners ruled a toxic inhalant as the cause of death for a Goldsboro man found dead in a parking lot in April.
The N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy of 38-year-old Edward Earl Webb Jr. after Goldsboro police found him dead in a parking lot on North Berkeley Boulevard on April 1. Examiners released Webb’s cause of death as acute 1,1-difluoroethane toxicity on Monday, according to the autopsy report.
1,1-Difluoroethane is a colorless, odorless gas, the National Institute of Health reports at toxnet.nlm.nih.gov. The primary uses are as an aerosol propellant and a foam expansion agent. Other potential uses include refrigeration blends and catalyst regeneration.
According to the autopsy report, Webb was found outside with multiple cans of compressed air. Medical examiners found no injuries contributing to his death.
A postmortem toxicological exam found 1,1-difluoroethane in Webb’s system, which is consistent with inhalant abuse, the report said. Webb had a history of substance abuse and was reported missing for nearly 11 days, according to the report. Examiners said Webb died April 1.
Medical examiners classified the manner of Webb’s death as an accident, based on the circumstances, autopsy report and toxicology, the report concluded.
Goldsboro police opened the death investigation after finding Webb deceased near an enclosed dumpster area in a parking lot around 5:50 p.m. on April 1, LaToya Henry, spokeswoman for the city of Goldsboro, had said. The parking lot is adjacent to the strip mall where Staples, Big Lots and Books-A-Million are located.
Investigators with the Criminal Investigations Division and Crime Scene Unit opened an investigation after police responded to the scene, she said.