RACINE — A man’s deceased body was found outdoors near Downtown Racine Wednesday morning, but police are saying they believe the death was from natural causes and is not suspicious in nature.
He was found outside in the 200 block of Ninth Street, not far from where he was last known to be living on Wisconsin Avenue.
The man was identified as 44-year-old Daniel Braznell, Racine Police Sgt. Adam Malacara reported Wednesday afternoon. Racine Police said Braznell had medical problems, which may have caused his death.
An autopsy on Braznell is to be conducted Thursday, April 18, Racine County Medical Examiner Michael Payne said Wednesday afternoon.
Tina Braznell-Christiansen, Braznell’s sister, was shocked when she learned the news about her brother, who leaves behind a son and new granddaughter.
“He was my baby brother … I just talked to him a couple of days ago. He was supposed to go fishing with us,” said Braznell-Christiansen of Union Grove.
Growing up, she said, they had a rough life. Their father died when Braznell was very young, and they had a hard upbringing, she said about herself and her brother, who graduated from Union Grove High School in 1992.
Braznell’s brother Rick Baer, who now lives in Kentucky, said that Braznell, throughout his life, turned to alcohol. “Alcohol was his demon,” Baer said Wednesday afternoon, a few hours after learning about his brother’s death.
Police said Braznell had a history of drug use, but his sister and brother said they did not know about that, and it’s unclear if that contributed to his death.
Although Braznell struggled with alcohol and had multiple run-ins with law enforcement over the years, both of his siblings tried to think of the positive memories, saying he was hardworking and took pride in helping others.
“He found a lot of gratitude when he helped someone. ... He wanted to get his life in order,” Baer said.
Real estate agent finds body
At about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday, Rose Heller said she had just planned to make a quick stop at her real estate office, located at the former site of the CBR Foundation building in the 200 block of Ninth Street, when she turned the corner and saw a man slumped over near a fence in a secluded area of the parking lot.
Unsure if the man was alive or not, Heller quickly contacted authorities. Her cell phone call log showed she made the call at 8:21 a.m. Minutes later, she said rescue personnel arrived and quickly determined that the man was dead.
“It was almost surreal,” Heller said.
Neighbors in the area said they heard nothing suspicious overnight.
“He found a lot of gratitude when he helped someone. ... He wanted to get his life in order.” Rick Baer, brother of Daniel Braznell