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Man found dead in field in East St. Louis

Police investigate after the body of a man was found on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, near the edge of a open field at North 28th Street at Ohio Avenue in East St. Louis. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

EAST ST. LOUIS • Police Chief Michael Floore said a man initially thought shot to death may have died of hypothermia.

Police said passersby found the body of 52-year-old David Shepherd among weeds in a vacant lot in the 2800 block of Ohio Street around 7:20 a.m. Wednesday. He had been missing several days.

Investigators thought trauma to the man's body was the appearance of gunshot wounds, Floore said. An autopsy done on the body found no bullet entry or exit points.

Floore said the man had gone out drinking and his vehicle broke down in the parking lot of a Caseyville tavern. Police were called to assist getting the man home. He was returned to his car by Caseyville police after being unable to find his home. After that, his whereabouts were unknown until he was found Wednesday morning.

Floore said Shepherd also had suffered several bruises that could have been related to a fall. The department is still investigating the case as a homicide at this point, and the coroner's office will not determine a cause of death until toxicology results are returned.

Marlon A. Walker covers Illinois general news for stltoday.com and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @marlonawalker