Christopher Lee Beck

Christopher Lee Beck with his granddaughter.

A preliminary autopsy report shows a Port Lavaca man who was found unresponsive in the DeWitt County Jail days ago died of natural causes.

Medical examiners have ruled Christopher Lee Beck, 42, died as a result of an infection stemming from a previous surgery, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety news release issued Wednesday.

According to the release, Beck’s cause of death was peritonitis, an inflammation of tissues in the abdomen caused by bacteria.

His manner of death has been ruled as natural.

The Texas Rangers’ investigation into his death remains ongoing.

Beck’s wife and high school sweetheart, 44-year-old Port Lavaca resident Stephanie Beck, said her husband suffered for much of his life from illnesses related to scar tissue in his abdomen.

She also said he had undergone surgery about six months ago to address complications.

Beck was booked into the DeWitt County Jail about 11:40 a.m. Saturday on suspicion of two charges – duty on striking structure, fixture or highway landscaping and failure to report an accident.

He had been involved in a vehicle crash earlier that day, his wife said.

Jailers found Beck unresponsive in his cell at 11:34 p.m. Saturday.

He was taken to Cuero Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:24 a.m. Oct. 1.

This story was updated Oct. 4, 2019 to clarify the autopsy was a preliminary report.

Jon Wilcox reports on courts for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached jwilcox@vicad.com or 361-580-6515.

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Jon covers crime, public safety and the courts at the Victoria Advocate. Born in Huntsville, Ala., he grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism at Texas State University.

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