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Five months after Olympic runner David Torrence's death, his loved ones are still questioning how he died?and the finalized investigation into his passing by police in Arizona has not given them the answers they're looking for.

Torrence was three months away from his 32nd birthday when he was found dead in the pool at the Center Court Condominiums in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Aug. 28, 2017. Investigators with the Scottsdale Police Department deemed Torrence's death an accidental drowning and closed the case just two weeks ago, on Feb. 8.

Family and people in the professional running community?of which Torrence was a well-liked standout member for a decade?say that doesn't make sense. They question how he drowned and why scratches were found on his body. Some have even questioned whether Torrence's death was linked to him being a whistle-blower in a case against a foreign track and field coach, who was arrested in 2016 by Spanish police, accused of peddling performance-enhancing drugs.

John Cook, Torrence's coach of some time, said Torrence's death was bizarre. The coach wondered how the Malibu resident, known as a very good swimmer, could drown in a pool.

"He can swim like a fish," Cook said. "He comes from an ocean area. It's all bullshit."

A friend of Torrence's, a professional runner who asked not to be identified, said Torrence's death shocked the track and field world because the middle-distance runner was so outspoken against drugs in the sport. Torrence told the friend he had received threats from individuals associated with the coach he accused of funneling drugs to track athletes. There is no known record of such threats being made.

"Everyone that knew the situation?that's immediately where our heads went," said the runner, who spoke to Torrence the day before his death. "Especially, when you don't hear anything, but his body was found in a swimming pool. If you know anything about David, you knew what a strong swimmer he was."

Torrence was in Malibu two days before he was found deceased. His mother, Bianca Torrence, a local Realtor, took him to the airport the afternoon of Aug. 26 to catch his flight to Arizona, where he planned to prepare for upcoming races. Torrence trained with coach Ricky Soos the morning of August 27. Soos told Torrence he would text him that evening with their workout plan for Monday. When Soos messaged Torrence around 9:30 p.m., the athlete did not reply. Torrence was found in the pool the next morning.

The Dec. 21, 2017, report, authored by Maricopa County Medical Examiner Lesley E. Wallis, reveals that Torrence was found floating face-down in the pool wearing swimming trunks. His towel and flip-flops were on the pool deck. A half empty can of beer was found in the apartment Torrence where Torrence was residing. No suicide note was found.

Wallis wrote that Torrence's brain and heart were in good shape and there was a low level of alcohol in his system. The report showed there were no drugs in Torrence's system. The medical examiner said some fluid was in his lungs.

"Based on the autopsy findings and investigative history as available to me, it is my opinion that David Scott Torrence, a 31-year-old male, died as a result of Drowning," Wallis typed in the official document. "The manner of death is Accident."

A doctor familiar with David's medical history (who asked not to be identified) told Bianca in an email that the medical examiner's report does not appear to be a conclusive diagnosis. The doctor said since the lower airways of Torrence's lungs were not filled with water, but the upper airways were: "The upper air way edema is likely due to the prolonged exposure of face down in the water post mortem." According to the physician's note, Torrence may not have drowned.

The doctor, a medical expert The Malibu Times spoke with, and physicians quoted in a recent article on LetsRun.com all said Torrence's death could have been caused by an arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause anything from barely perceptible systems to cardiovascular collapse.

"Arrhythmia could cause sudden death," the doctor the Times spoke with said, noting that an arrhythmia would not show up on a medical examiner's report.

Bianca Torrence wants a definite answer on how her son died, but the report has left her with more questions. She wonders how the amount of water found in his lungs could cause her son to drown, and how he got in the position for water to be in his lungs.

"If he had something massive or out of the ordinary that would have caused a heart attack or aneurism or anything like that, it would have been noted," she said. "But in the report, everything shows up pretty much normal. The fact that there is air in his lungs? That is kind of strange."

Bianca said another red flag Wallis' report raised in her and others' eyes were the abrasions noted on David's nose, elbows and knees.

"I can't see it being a heart attack or understand it being a drowning," one of Torrence's friends said. "I know he was in perfect health."

Bianca said she did not believe David would have gone to the pool alone. She wondered why his body was in the pool at such an early hour.

"David was not an early riser," Bianca said.

Torrence's friend was video-chatting with the runner in 2016 when the deceased runner said he received a death threat typed in broken English from one of the arrested coach's friends. Torrence's friend did not view the message, but David read it aloud. The friend said they were unsure of how to take the threat, but soon after, David told Steve Magness, a whistle-blower in a different track and field investigation, about it, which Magness confirmed in the LetsRun.com article.

David's mother raised her concerns with Scottsdale Police and told them about the death threats her son said he received, but she said investigators are declined to reopen the case because they believe David did not take the threats serious enough.

"They said, 'Unless there is evidence of homicide, we won't investigate further,'" Bianca said. "I'm very disappointed."

Scottsdale Police provided a short statement to The Malibu Times just before press time.

"Mr. Torrence's death, although tragic, has been deemed accidental," the statement said. "There was no evidence in this case indicating a criminal nexus or foul play."

The statement went on to say the department would review any new information received.

Cook alleged the police closed the case before they started it.

"The investigation was just not aggressive," he said. "The easiest thing to say is 'He drowned.'"

Now, Torrence's mother is working on her own investigation. Bianca said she is still waiting to get David's phone back from police and has reached out to Facebook to try to get access to his messages on the social network. She wants to know what happened to her son.

"I don't know what to do at this moment," she said. "I'm trying to figure out the best route to go."
http://mydeathspace.com/article/2019..._swimming_pool

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