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Circus death at Kane County Fairgrounds ruled accidental

Published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 2:41 p.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – A toxicology report for a 22-year-old circus employee found dead in his trailer at the Kane County Fairgrounds concluded his death was accidental because of use of multiple drugs.

Casey Dale Walker of Etowah, N.C., was found unconscious in his trailer while Piccadilly Circus was at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles. The St. Charles Police Department responded to a call Aug. 18 that a man was found unconscious in his trailer, and he later was pronounced dead at Delnor Hospital.

The Kane County Coroner’s Office didn’t reach a conclusion about Walker’s death after an autopsy that was performed Aug. 20. Toxicology reports from the Illinois Crime Laboratory showed high traces of cocaine, heroin and alcohol in Walker’s system at the time of his death.

The coroner’s office ruled Walker’s death as polypharmacy/accidental. Police spokesman Paul McCurtain said a death ruled polypharmacy means an unnatural cause of human death because of simultaneous use of multiple drugs.

Police responded to a call at 3:50 a.m. Aug. 18 that a circus worker had been found slumped over his bedroom dresser.

His roommates took him outside of the trailer and began performing CPR until an officer arrived on scene and took over.

Witnesses told police they noticed a bump on Walker’s forehead earlier in the night. One witness told police a metal pole had fallen on Walker’s forehead hours before he was found in his trailer.

The incident raised suspicions, particularly by PETA, that the worker might have been killed by an elephant.

However, a U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation into the death concluded that the worker had not been killed by an elephant, according to David Sacks, USDA spokesman.

In August, police also reported no signs of struggle in or around the trailer.

Performances by Florida-based Picadilly Circus were scheduled in August at the fairgrounds.

• Reporter Elizabeth Stoever contributed to this report.

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