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Man Identified Related to March 4th Salem-Area Death Investigation
04/18/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

An investigation into the death of a previously unidentified male found March 4, 2008 when Salem firefighters responded to a reported brush fire near the Interstate 5 northbound on ramp from Mission Street in Salem has not determined if it was the result of a homicide.
 
The man was positively identified using dental records as LEONARD DAVID PAYTON, age 64. PAYTON was transient and had no known address at the time of his death. An autopsy previously done by the State Medical Examiner's Office was inconclusive and failed to determine a manner of death.

 
According to previous news releases, on March 4, 2008 at about 2:20 a.m. the Salem Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a brush fire near the northbound on ramp from Mission Street onto Interstate 5. When they arrived they found the unidentified victim was already deceased.

 
Oregon State Police detectives, working in cooperation with the Marion County District Attorney's Office, Salem Police Department, Marion County Medical Examiner, and the State Medical Examiner's Office, have been investigating. Anyone with information to assist with this case is asked to call Detective Josh Brooks at (503) 934-0349.