Officials: 3-year-old rural Edgerton boy died of natural causes

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Frank Schultz
Thursday, May 1, 2014

EDGERTON—The death of a rural Edgerton child in December was caused by the child's asthma, officials said.

Capt. Todd Christiansen of the Rock County Sheriff's Office said Thursday the death of  David A. Benitez-Thalacker, 3, was ruled to have been from natural causes.

A toxicology screen was negative for drugs or anything else of significance, said Rock County Chief Deputy/Acting Coroner Lou Smit.

The autopsy lists the cause of death as acute exacerbation of asthma, which means Benitez-Thalacker had a severe asthma attack, Smit said.

Benitez-Thalacker died Dec. 14 at Fort Memorial Hospital, Fort Atkinson, after being transferred there from a Rock County hospital, officials said at the time. An autopsy was performed in Madison.

Authorities were dispatched after a 911 call to 950 E. Merrifield Road in rural Edgerton at about 9:30 p.m. Dec. 14.

Christiansen said several days later that investigators were looking into possible neglect in the case.

Christiansen said Thursday the case is closed with no suspicion of wrongdoing in the death.

An investigation in the wake of the death and a search warrant executed on another house on the same property led to the arrest of Garrett E. Thalacker, 25. He was charged in Rock County Court with possession of drug paraphernalia. He was found guilty on that charge March 14.

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