Authorities say man died in fall while repairing stairs

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BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) -- Authorities say a man whose body was found in a Burlington basement died from a fall while repairing the basement steps.

The body of 53-year-old Ricky Wixom was discovered Jan. 12. Iowa Department of Public Safety agent Richard Rahn said Friday that Wixom occasionally stayed with a friend who lived in the home.

It's believed Wixom fell in September while working on the steps. Relatives reported him missing Oct. 10. Rahn says the resident rarely went into the old basement and didn't notice any smell from the decomposing body, which was found by a plumber called in to check possible water problems.

An autopsy showed Wixom suffered blunt force injuries consistent with a fall. Rahn says the death has been ruled an accident.

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