Man's Brain Currently Being Examined for Clues to Death
• Determination of Cause Is Elusive
BY ANNE SOBLE
It has been almost three months since the body of Carlos Ivan Rodas covered in blood was discovered near an entrance to Guido's restaurant where he was employed in the kitchen.
The cause of the 32-year-old's death on March 18 has proved to be difficult to determine and is designated as "deferred" by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.
When the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department found itself the subject of public and city criticism for issuing statements about the case without verification and giving the appearance of careless detective work, the agency put a security hold on all DOC dissemination of information on the case that has since been removed.
Chief Coroner Investigator and Chief of Operations Craig Harvey recently indicated to the Malibu Surfside News, "The case is still deferred, but the specific reason right now is neuropathy (brain tissue studies)."
Harvey said, "It takes about three weeks just to get the brain 'fixed' before you can do a proper neuropathy examination. To 'fix' the brain requires a solution of formalin in a container with the brain, which changes the consistency of the tissue, but does not alter the findings."
The DOC spokesperson added, " We have neuropathy consultants that do most of these studies. The studies take several weeks to complete."
Although family and friend reports describe Rodas as being in good health, early statements by the LASD made reference to the possibility of a respiratory infection being a factor in the sudden and inexplicable death.
Neuropathological tissue studies can reveal brain degeneration, as well as the existence of hard-to-detect infections that can elude traditional blood chemistry analysis used for this kind of disease.
Harvey said that an official cause of death for Rodas would not be determined, if a cause even can be determined, until all test data has been analyzed.