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Pinellas man, 71, confirmed as second Debby-related death

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 07:05 PM

A 71-year-old man with a heart condition who drowned in floodwaters on Indian Rocks Beach is the second confirmed death related to Tropical Storm Debby, officials said.

Armando Perez, of 1906 Second St., was found Sunday face down in ankle- to knee-deep water in front of his home by a neighbor. His cause of death is listed as a drowning, with heart disease as a contributing factor, according to the Pinellas Medical Examiner's Officer.

Perez may have suffered a heart attack serious enough to cause him to fall into the floodwaters and not be able to get out, detectives working with the medical examiner's office said.

Perez was on the phone with one of his sons, who was driving over to pick him up and told his father to wait inside the home, deputies said.

According to deputies, another of Perez's other sons called and was talking with Perez when the father said, "They're here." The son thought his brother had arrived, but he had not.

The son arrived shortly after his father died.

The death will be reported to the state as storm related and an accident, deputies said.

A man, who apparently drowned in floodwaters caused by Debby in New Port Richey, could be a third victim of the storm.

The man's body was found at 3850 Elfers Parkway, which runs along the river and is in an area that was evacuated Tuesday due to flooding.

A Highlands County woman was killed Sunday in a tornado spun off from the storm. She was found clinging to her 3-year-old daughter about 200 feet from their mobile home.

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