Mesa police don't know what led up to transient man's death

Posted: Updated:
By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

MESA, Ariz. – Authorities need help determining what led up to the death of a 34-year-old man found in the parking lot of a Mesa store.

Mesa law enforcement responded to the parking lot of a Goodwill store near Southern Avenue and Alma School Road on Nov. 7 at about 7 p.m. and found the unconscious victim lying on a landscaping median.

The victim, James Hector Toruga, reportedly was not bleeding and there were no noticeable signs of trauma. He was taken to a hospital where doctors determined he suffered a life-threatening head injury. Toruga died on Nov. 9.

The medical examiner said the victim could have been injured minutes to hours before being found by police.

His family told authorities Toruga was a transient and carried a backpack with personal items, including a wallet, driver’s license and birth certificate, which were not found at the scene.

Toruga’s exact cause of death has not been determined. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.