LOS ANGELES – A man who died at the home of action star Ving Rhames most likely did not die from bites from Rhames' dogs, county coroner's officials said Friday.
Jacob Adams, 40, was living on Rhames' Brentwood property as a caretaker for the actor's dogs when he was bitten Aug. 3, police said.
The medical examiner who conducted Adams' autopsy Aug. 7 said the bite abrasions and lacerations on the man's body were most likely nonfatal, said Capt. Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
"We're not saying the bites were definitely not the cause of death, though," Winter told The Associated Press.
An exact cause of death was still unknown pending a toxicology report to be released in about six weeks, he said.
According to a preliminary coroner's report, the dog bite marks on Adams' body — which police officers found on Rhames' front lawn — were around his arms and legs.
"When animals attack humans or other animals, the victims usually end up with bites around the head and neck. He had none," Winter said. "This leads us to believe he went down for some other medical reason."
An English bulldog and three bull mastiffs, including two weighing 200 pounds, were seized by animal services at the time.
Rhames told People magazine this week that his dogs were back home.
In a statement dated Monday, Rhames, 46, said he was out of the country when the incident took place.
Rhames also mentioned he was "relieved to know that the coroner's report confirmed that my dogs were not the cause of his death — and that any wounds found on his body were superficial."
"Jacob Adams was not just a devoted employee — he was also a dear friend. I want to offer my heartfelt condolences to his family," he said.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APTV 08-17-07 1823EDT