Internal bleeding cause of Arlington man’s death

ARLINGTON — An Arlington man died from internal bleeding after a reported assault last month, officials have determined.

The May 9 death of John L. Oster, 57, has been under investigation by Snohomish County sheriff’s Major Crimes detectives and the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Detectives earlier this year wrote in court papers that his death could be a potential case of manslaughter.

Oster died a day after he was reportedly punched by a co-worker. The alleged assault took place near Arlington.

Sheriff’s detectives have been waiting for the medical examiner’s report as part of their investigation. They knew that Oster had significant medical problems before the alleged assault, including stomach pain.

Laboratory test results also showed that probable liver cancer contributed to Oster’s death, according to the medical examiner’s office.

This week, Oster’s manner of death was classified as undetermined. That means there was not enough information available for doctors to make a medical ruling on the circumstances of how someone died.

It ultimately will be up to prosecutors to determine if criminal charges are warranted in the case.

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