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Man was accidentally electrocuted at Long Beach church, coroner rules

ScienceReligion and Belief

Los Angeles County coroner officials say a man found dead inside a Long Beach church last week died from an accidental electrocution.

Jose Israel Mejias, 36, of Downey, was found dead about 8:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in the attic of Ministerio Bautista Logos at 901 E. South St.

The man was the son of Jose A. Mejias Sr., a pastor at the church, according to Jose Mejias’ uncle, 48-year-old Luis Galvez.

Mystery had surrounded Mejias' death after authorities said they were unsure how he was electrocuted because he wasn't working with electrical wiring or electricity.

Church officials said in a statement that Mejias was installing a projector when the accident happened. 

"He was not working with electricity," the statement emphasized with capital letters.

Coroner officials, though, examined the case Dec. 6 and confirmed the cause of death to be from accidental electrocution.

The same statement, which was posted on the church's website, provided background about Mejias and his accomplishments that included a slideshow of work certificates he received.

Mejias was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in 1977. He once served as a community service officer for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

He was a computer engineer and was employed with CompuCom, a Dallas-based information technology company. He loved the color orange and liked comedy shows such as "The Simpsons." 

"He was always missed when he was away on business and his presence was always felt," the statement read. "He will dearly be missed forever."

Mejias is survived by his daughter, parents and other relatives. 

A wake and funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at the church, officials said. 

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ruben.vives@latimes.com

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