Dr. Gary Nelson of Clinton / Special to The Clinton News
Clinton police are investigating the death of retired physician Dr. Gary Nelson, who was found dead around noon Saturday in his Countrywood Subdivision home.
Chief Mike Warren said an autopsy has been performed at the Mississippi Crime Laboratory in Jackson, and that when officers responded, the home was treated as a crime scene.
“There are a lot of unknowns,” Warren said of the death of Nelson, a longtime family practice physician in the city. “I don’t want to say that we suspect foul play, but before we say there’s not, we want to be able to say we’re sure there’s not.”
Nelson’s wife, Rebecca Jordan Nelson, 65, was found dead at the couple’s home August 15, 2013. Gary Nelson was found by one of the couple’s sons who lives at the home, Warren said. Rebecca Nelson also was found at the home by a relative, although Warren said he wasn’t sure who.
Rebecca Nelson apparently died of blood loss after getting up from bed, falling and hitting her head during the night, Warren said. She wasn’t found until after she had died, Warren said.
“I will say that it’s a little bit odd that they were both found dead, in their home, within a couple of months of each other. So, that raises an eyebrow,” Warren said. “We treated it as a crime scene, because if you don’t, you can’t recreate it later.”
There was no evidence of a home break-in or intruder in either of the deaths, Warren said.
According to an obituary appearing in The Clarion-Ledger on August 23, 2013, Rebecca Jordan Nelson’s brother, Jeffrey Lynn Jordan, passed away at his Clinton home on August 15, 2013, the same day that Rebecca Nelson died at her Clinton home. “We have no reason to believe they are connected,” Warren said of the deaths.
Warren said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene of Gary Nelson’s death at his department’s request. Warren said there were no obvious markings on Nelson’s body. “Nothing really jumped out at anybody at the scene,” he said. “We’re more trying to rule out possibilities than confirm one.”
He said it’s not unusual for his department to request the MBI’s assistance on such cases. “If it’s your average burglary, we will work that. But if it’s a crime scene where there’s a death involved, we’ll call them. We may be collecting different samples and evidence, and if there’s blood involved, we’ll use them.”
The investigation is pending Crime Lab results, which could take weeks, Warren said.
“It very well could turn out that he died of natural causes, but it’s just an odd set of circumstances, and there are a lot of questions. You hate to dismiss it and find out things later where you can’t go back and retrace those steps.”
To contact Ruth Ingram, call 601-961-7303.