Officials investigate death of man left along I-40

August 29, 2010 6:33:23 AM PDT
Officials are investigating the death of a man who was left along Interstate 40 after he died or fell ill while riding with an unidentified man.

Investigators say 38-year-old Juan Jimenez Tovar was discovered west of Vega last week. He was not initially identified, but authorities later heard from the man's 15-year-old son in Washington state. The teen said the man his father was riding with had called to say Tovar was left at a rest stop after becoming sick or unconscious.

Sheriff David Medlin told the Amarillo Globe-News that the man "told the son they were going to call 911, which they didn't."

Officials aren't sure when Tovar died, but a preliminary autopsy showed he likely died of natural causes.

Medlin said authorities don't know with whom Tovar, who was undocumented, was riding or where he was going.