The recent death of John Van Houten at his residence a little south of Elgin has been listed in the Coroner’s toxicology report as an accidental overdose. Results were received by the Clark County Coroner’s office this past week.
A call from a resident revealed that Van Houten had missed an appointment, and that they had not heard from him in a while. When the death was discovered Feb. 10, County Sheriff Kerry Lee said he first approached it as a suspicious death, but with a thorough investigation, foul play has been ruled out. The investigation included combing of the crime scene and gathering information from residents to establish a timeline of Van Houten’s recent activity. “It appeared he had passed away two or three days prior to us discovering him,” said Lee.
Van Houten, about age 65, had run-ins with law enforcement in the county several times over the past several years, said Lee, often for the cultivation and sale of marijuana and other things.
The official coroner’s report says the death was the result of an “aortic rupture due to acute methamphetamine toxicity,” a condition in which the aorta, the largest artery in the body, is torn or ruptured.
“It was accidental,” Lee said, “not suicide or foul play, and he had other significant conditions, too, including hypertension cardiovascular disease.”
Lee explained Van Houten was known to try to self-medicate and “sometimes the drugs he chose were not legal.”
He said this very same type of death has happened in the County before, and was just accidental.