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American engineer found dead

ISLAMABAD, Sept 16: An American civil engineer, who was working on the US Embassy’s extension project in Islamabad, was found dead at his residence here on Monday, police said.

According to the hospital records, Darrin Richard Pedersen had died due to cardiac arrest, but the police have requested the deceased’s family for his autopsy to ascertain the actual cause of the death.

The incident came to light when the deceased’s housemaid arrived at his house in E-7 on Monday morning after taking Saturday and Sunday off.

When she opened the door, she found Mr Pedersen on the ground and informed the police who took custody of the body. The American Embassy was also informed of the death.

According to the police, Mr Pedersen had fallen off a couch with his head on the ground, and had plugged in earphones attached to an I-Pod.

During a search of the house, nothing suspicious was spotted, the police said, adding that several empty alcohol cans were found.

“It seems he died late Saturday or early Sunday, but the exact time of death will be ascertained after an autopsy,” a police official said.

The body was later shifted to Pims (Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences) where it is kept in the mortuary for autopsy.

A request for autopsy has been sent through the US Embassy in Islamabad to the deceased’s wife and a reply is awaited, the police said.

They added that the autopsy would be conducted to clear any doubt regarding the engineer’s death, and the police have the authority to do so even if the deceased’s family denied permission.

Mr Pedersen was residing in the house for the past 18 months along with his family.

His wife and children had gone to their native country a month ago and are scheduled to return in the next 10 days.

He was affiliated with an American based construction company which had been hired for the extension of the US Embassy in Islamabad.

The neighbours of the deceased were not available for comment, but their servants, including guards, said the family was not very social or in contact with others.

The servants further said that they had not observed any activity in or around the house for the past two days, which was routine.