When Cigarette Smoke Masked a Death

In 2003, police found a man whose body was wedged between two walls in the basement of a nightclub more than a year after he went missing. According to the autopsy, it was believed that he likely passed out and stopped breathing. Eduardo Sanchez, a part-time disc jockey at Village Cabaret in Winnipeg, Manitoba, died of positional asphyxiation. The 21-year-old was wedged in such a way in a v-shaped space between the walls that the weight of his body prevented him from breathing. It is believed he passed out there after crawling inside on his own. What police didn’t know was why he would climb between the walls. Police had been called to the nightclub because of complaints of a foul odor coming from the basement of the cabaret. So, why wasn’t his body discovered in the 12 months prior? It turned out to be because of cigarette smoke. Once the city’s smoking ban went into effect, more people became of aware of the smell. Previously, the smell of cigarette smoke was so prevalent that it masked the odor from the basement. Police suspected no foul play in the death.