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LAGUNA NIGUEL : Autopsy Finds Man Died of Suffocation

A man whose bloodied body was found by neighbors in his ransacked condominium apparently died of asphyxiation, a coroner’s autopsy revealed Thursday.

The man, who was identified by neighbors as Robert Wood, also suffered severe blows to the head, Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Paddock said.

The death is being treated as a homicide, Paddock said.

Neighbors entered the condominium Wednesday after becoming suspicious when the man did not answer several phone calls, the sergeant said. They found the fully clothed body in a bedroom, he said.

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Sheriff’s investigators have declined to release the man’s name, pending notification of his relatives.

Neighbors, however, said the beaten body they saw was Wood, a recent retiree from Hughes Aircraft Co.

Residents of the Crystal Cay Laguna Heights condominium complex, which is just east of Street of the Golden Lantern, said Wood was a friendly man who lived alone and kept to himself.

Homicide investigators declined to say whether they have identified any suspects or motive for the crime.

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