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Mysterious Death in Denton Alley Caused by Tuberculosis: Medical Examiner

Ngoc Le was seen stumbling through a Denton alley on Oct. 2

The man who collapsed and died in a Denton alley Oct. 2 had tuberculosis, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, Ngoc Le was seen stumbling around with blood coming from his mouth before he collapsed. Authorities rushed his autopsy due to the circumstances of his death.

Denton police said 911 was called at about 9:40 a.m. after someone spotted Le stumble and fall in the alley behind a row of homes along the 3600 block of Camino Real near Del Ray Drive.

The caller told police the man's face was bloodied and that they believed he'd been shot. When firefighters arrived minutes later, the man was dead; a large amount of blood was visible on his face but no apparent gunshot wound could be confirmed at the scene, officials said.

Detectives later learned Le had recently returned to the U.S. from a trip to Vietnam and that he'd been feeling ill for a couple of weeks. With that in mind, in a statement police said they notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local health department of their investigation into the mysterious death.

Le's, meanwhile, was given to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office so that an autopsy could be performed to determine his cause of death.

“We are in consultation with the local health authorities, including the CDC, as we continue to look into the circumstances surrounding the man's death," police said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Several hours later police released another statement saying the man died due to an underlying medical condition, though they did not say what that condition was. Police added, "We made notification to local health authorities out of an abundance of caution, but it turned out that we did not need any assistance from them."

The Denton County Public Health Department released a separate statement late Tuesday afternoon saying they have not contacted the CDC and that they do not plan to do so since they do not believe there is a threat to the public.

"Denton County Public Health is currently collaborating with the local authorities and the medical examiner to conduct a thorough investigation surrounding the cause of death," said Jennifer Rainey, public information officer for Denton County Public Health. "However, current knowledge of medical and travel history do not indicate an ongoing public health threat to Denton County residents."

NBC 5's Chris Blake, Seth Voorhees, Cody Lillich and Holley Ford contributed to this report.

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