A 62-year-old handyman from El Sobrante who was found dead outside a Vallejo home on Monday died of a neck injury from a fall, a Solano County coroner's deputy said.
Deputy Jackson Harris said Michael Allen Branson's death was accidental.
Branson was pronounced dead at a home in the 1000 block of Sacramento Street at 10:20 a.m. Monday. The coroner's office, however, estimates that the fall occurred earlier and that Branson died of his injuries on Sunday afternoon or evening, Harris said.
A female friend of Branson's discovered his body at the bottom of some stairs in the back of the home, Vallejo police said. Harris said it appears he fell about eight feet.
Branson's work truck was stolen after his death, and police initially investigated the death as a homicide, Vallejo police Sgt. Jeff Bassett said.
Bassett said police now believe the thief either found the truck's keys in the ignition or somewhere nearby, and that the death is not related to the car theft.
When Branson did not return home Sunday night, his friend, also an El Sobrante resident, assumed he had slept at the house where he was working, Bassett said.
Branson's work truck was discovered by an apartment manager nearby in the 400 block of Maine Street around 9:30 a.m. Monday, Bassett said. Its tires were gone.
When an apartment manager called the phone number on the truck, which was blocking his property's driveway, Branson's friend answered the phone, Bassett said.
The woman then went to the house on Sacramento Street and found Branson's body, Bassett said.
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