Clifton Sparks homicide in Cedar Rapids still under investigation

Autopsy to be handled by State Medical Examiner's Office

Published: February 13 2014 | 12:29 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:37 am in

Cedar Rapids police said Thursday they cannot release any additional information on the death of Clifton Sparks out of concerns it could compromise the investigation.

"Information about specific details would be known by an offender or offenders and the investigators," said Greg Buelow, the city's public safety communications coordinator. "Therefore, the investigators don't want to compromise the investigation."

Sparks, 31, of Cedar Rapids was found lying in the street in the 1800 block of B Avenue at 12:30 a.m. Feb. 4. Police have not said how Sparks was killed, but on Thursday, Buelow said the man suffered a "traumatic injury" to his upper torso. No one has been charged in connection with Sparks' death.

Also on Thursday, Linn County Medical Examiner Dr. Donald Linder said Sparks' autopsy was being handled by the State Medical Examiner's Office. Linder said Sparks' autopsy is complete, but the cause and manner of his death has not been released.

"They wait for the toxicology to come back," Linder said.

Iowa does not have a toxicology lab, and samples must be sent out of the state. Linder said a six to eight week waiting period is not uncommon, as there are few forensic toxicology labs in the country.

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