Ada County Coroner: Boise man died of heart disease, not COVID-19

Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 16:42:17-04

UPDATE: The Ada County Coroner's Office released the cause of death of Frederick Gilbert, 71, who was tested for novel coronavirus. The initial test swabs and additional test swabs both turned up negative.

Related: Ada County Coroner's Office preparing for any potential COVID-19 cases

The swabs did, however, turn up positive for Parainfluenza (HPIV-3). HPIV-3 and diabetes were significant contributing conditions to Gilbert's death. The cause and manner of death have been determined with cause being arteriosclerotic cardiovasular disease with significant contributing conditions being diabetes and parainfluenza infection.

ORIGINAL STORY: Officials from the health department and the Ada County Coroner’s Office took extra coronavirus-related precautions after a missing man was found dead.

On Sunday, February 9, the Ada County Coroner’s Office was dispatched to a locked home in the Pierce Park area of north Boise following a welfare check by Boise Police Department officers.

Officials found the resident, later identified as 71-year-old Frederick Gilbert, dead inside the home. He had not been seen for several days. “Mr. Gilbert was in advanced stages of decomposition,” said Ada County Coroner Dotti Owens.

Officials learned that Gilbert had recently traveled out of the country and had stayed in both India and China.

“Mr. Gilbert flew from Shenzen, China to Shanghai-Pudong, China to Los Angeles, California, and then Boise. He arrived in Boise shortly before 1700 hours (5 p.m.) on February 5,” Owens said.

“Due to the circumstances and, in coordination with Central District Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, samples were submitted for testing for coronavirus and influenza. Influenza testing returned negative results. Initial swab samples tested for novel coronavirus (covid-19) returned negative. However, due to the condition of the decedent and, in an abundance of caution, additional tests are being requested through the CDC,” Owens explained.

The additional testing came back Tuesday, February 25 and were negative for COVID-19.

The Ada County Coroner determined Gilbert's death as cardiovascular-related, and was a natural death.

All possible safety and protective measures were taken by all agencies responding to the death and no other cases of suspected novel coronavirus (covid-19) have been reported to the Ada County Coroner’s Office, Owens said.