Fresno Coroner Searches for 800lb Man's Family

May 21, 2009 8:53:27 AM PDT
The Fresno Coroner's office is looking for relatives of 800 pound man who was found dead Tuesday in a Chinatown apartment.Neighbors say the man's name is Bernard. He lived in a second floor apartment for about three years. The coroner's office is trying to find out if he has any living relatives. Those who live here may have been the closest thing he had to family.

The wall to Bernard's room has been boarded up. His neighbors in the Old Asia Hotel say he kept to himself.

Rodney Torre said, "He always leaves his door open a crack, and I used to just go by and say hi to him. That's all."

Benjamin Cardinez said, "He was a nice man. He wasn't feeling good for the last week. You know because it was the heat. Everybody thought it was the heat."

The Fire Department estimates Bernard weighed at least eight hundred pounds. A dozen firefighters had to remove him from the Hotel, on a stretcher made from a four by eight foot piece of plywood. Neighbors say Bernard had a very tough time getting around.

Keith Thompson said, "He would suck his stomach in, just to get through the door, sideways."

He had people go get his food for him. Because he couldn't get up and down. It took him like ten minutes to get up the stairs."

Now the case is in the hands of Fresno County Coroner ... Dr. David Hadden. He says the priority is trying to find the man's family.

Dr. David Hadden said "And there are those cases where, it's terribly sad where there is nobody, and I always find it a little sad that nobody knows and nobody cares because there is nobody for you."

Dr. Hadden is investigating that the man had one or more ex wives. So social security records and other databases are being checked for any family connections to help bring closure to this tragic story.

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