An investigator for the Los Angeles County corner's office died Tuesday morning at the scene of a suicide in Monterey Park, authorities said.
Michael Shepherd, 53, of Glendale, traveled a steep, muddy hillside on Monterey Pass Road several times while investigating the death of a woman who hanged herself in an abandoned condominium complex, said Scott Carrier, a spokesman for the coroner's office.
Shepherd had helped carry the unidentified woman's body out of the complex and down the hill and started to make another climb.
"He made a quarter-turn and told [the other investigators] that he was just going back for his briefcase, and he simply collapsed," Carrier said.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was administered to Shepherd, but he did not respond. He was taken to Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park where he died at 6:42 a.m.
His co-workers at the coroner's office said they suspect that Shepherd's death was caused by a heart attack, but that will not be confirmed until reports are completed today, Carrier said.
Shepherd, who joined the coroner's office in 1975, was known for his attention to detail.
He is survived by his wife, Mary.