Cause Changed in Teen Deaths

Authorities have amended the causes of death for two Carson Valley teenagers whose bodies were found at Lake Tahoe last summer.

The Douglas County sheriff's office says the causes of death were changed because of "miscommunication" between a forensic laboratory and the Washoe County Coroner's Office, which performed
autopsies.

The amended death certificate for 19-year-old Alex Haas list "asphyxia due to fresh water drowning" with a secondary notation of "acute methadone intoxication."

The amended certificate of death for 19-year-old Tim Coleman is listed as "undetermined" with a notation of the possible involvement of electrocution by lightning and/or acute methadone intoxication.

Death certificates issued last month listed acute methadone intoxication as the primary cause, but the boys' families have maintained there was more to their deaths.

Their bodies were found at Zephyr Cove after a summer thunderstorm and family members had speculated the boys may have been struck by lightning, a finding not initially upheld by the Washoe County Coroner's Office.


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