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ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) - Medical examiners have determined that Allegan County Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Tatrow's death was caused by E. coli stemming from a urinary tract infection.
Tatrow, 46, died in mid-April shortly after returning from an overseas vacation. Tatrow was also part of the investigation of the home where an owner was found to have more than 350 dogs covered in feces.
Medical Examiner Dr. David Start said that neither of those were likely to have contributed to his death.
"It's a natural death," Start said. "He did not have an infection that began from the skin."
Start said deaths from the bacteria are rare, stressing that the condition that killed Tatrow does not pose a risk to those who had contact with him.
"It's obviously an unfortunate event but we see these ... even in the days of antibiotics," Start said. "Unfortunately, these things can progress quickly sometimes."
Start said E. coli is normally in the body's intestinal tract but causes problems when the bacteria spreads elsewhere. He said there are many scenarios that could have prompted the infection to occur in Tatrow's system.
Allegan County Sheriff's officials have said that Tatrow was vomiting, had diarrhea and a fever of 107 degrees by the time he was taken to Metro Health hospital.
Tatrow was a decorated and skilled officer who served as a K9 dog handler, Tactical Team (SWAT) member and as a Michigan Sheriff's Association Mission Team Investigator during his career.
His work was also recognized with many awards including a 2003 letter of Commendation for Law Enforcement Service, a 2004 letter of appreciation for years of service to the Tactical Team, a 2007 letter of Commendation for Law Enforcement Service and a 2009 Allegan County Sheriff's Office Certificate of Professional Excellence.
He was also recognized by numerous organizations involved in traffic safety and K9 work, according to the sheriff's department.
Tatrow started with the department in 1993. The 19-year-veteran of the force was a husband, father and grandfather.
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