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Police: Death of Wichita man is suspicious

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Sep. 9, 2013, at 8:54 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Sep. 9, 2013, at 10:24 p.m.

Wichita police say they will seek assistance from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation as they look for answers in the death of a 66-year-old man last month.

Jim Sauer was found dead in the bedroom of his house in west Wichita on Aug. 23.

“It’s considered a suspicious death,” Capt. Brent Allred said. “It’s not a cut-and-dried case.”

An autopsy indicated Sauer’s death appears to be the result of natural causes, police have said, but that the coroner’s office is awaiting lab results to confirm or refute that. Sauer was diabetic and weighed close to 300 pounds, a family member has said.

Police have also identified a man and woman as “persons of interest” in the case and would like to discuss their relationship with Sauer in more detail, Allred said. Investigators plan to have the KBI conduct handwriting analysis to determine whether Sauer wrote two checks to the man identified as a person of interest – one reportedly for $5,000 and another for $8,000 – or if they were forged.

“We won’t close it until we follow every lead,” Allred said. “These investigations are complex. It takes more time than people realize to gather all the evidence” and present it to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, which would make the final decision on what charges, if any, would be filed.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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