Coroner: GBI investigating death of 454-pound man at West Central Regional

Local News

A patient at West Central Georgia Regional died this morning, sparking a mandatory Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said.

Xzavious Ross, 26, was pronounced dead about 7 at the state mental health facility located in Columbus. Ross was 6-foot- 2, 454 pounds and Bryan said morbid obesity was a contributing cause to the death. Ross had multiple health issues, the coroner said.

Because the death happened in a state-owned facility, a GBI investigation is mandatory, the coroner said. An autopsy at the state crime lab in Decatur in also required because of where the death occurred.

The coroner’s office is not equipped to move and transport such a large body, so Bryan has called in the Columbus Fire and EMS to assist. A private contractor will take the body to the state crime lab, Bryan said.

“We are having more and more morbidly obese people dying in Muscogee County,” Bryan said. “I am going to Columbus council to ask for emergency funds to buy the equipment we need to handle these cases.”

At noon, the coroner told News 3 that the state’s medical examiner had declined to perform an autopsy due to the patient’s extensive medical history.

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