State medical examiner: Morrisville man drowned in bathtub

From Staff ReportsNovember 18, 2013 

— The state medical examiner’s office on Monday made public an autopsy report that indicated a 41-year-old man found dead in the bathtub of his Morrisville home in February was the victim of a “probable drowning.”

When Morrisville police first investigated the death of Moses Tafarki, a licensed pharmacy technician, they thought he may have been the victim of a homicide.

A neighbor and friend of Tafarki’s alerted Morrisville police on Feb. 21 after they found him dead in the bathtub of his apartment in the 3600 block of Quail High Boulevard. When police arrived they found Tafarki lying in a fetal position, his body completely submerged in the bathtub.

Investigators recovered a near-empty bottle of vodka in the bathroom.

Kristi Clifford, a spokeswoman with the state medical examiner, said on Monday that Tafarki had a blood alcohol content of .02 at the time of the autopsy on Feb. 22. The legal limit in North Carolina is .08.

Morrisville detective M.C. Ballard was intrigued by another piece of evidence: The shower curtain had been torn down and was between Tafarki’s legs, court records show.

“My research into suicide by drowning tends to show that a bathtub is not a common method used,” Ballard stated in the search warrant application. “The position of the shower curtain, between the legs of the victim, leads me to believe a struggle had occurred or the victim slipped and fell. It is unclear at this time how the shower curtain came to be in that position.”

Ballard also learned that Tafarki owed “a significant amount of money to many individuals.”

“It is possible this would be a motive for someone to hurt or kill the victim,” Ballard stated in the warrant application.

The autopsy report made public Monday indicated Tafarki’s body was “free of trauma.”

Morrisville police could not be reached for comment Monday.

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