Man finds a stranger dead in his van

August 2, 2012

After stopping for a drink downtown on Thursday afternoon, a San Luis Obispo man returned to his van to find an unconscious stranger inside, police said.

After an unsuccessful attempt to wake the man, David Harrell drove him to French Hospital Medical Center. Hospital staff then informed Harrell the man was deceased and asked him to wait for police to arrive.

Harrell, however, quickly left the hospital. Police used video footage to track Harrell down. Investigators determined Harrell had nothing to do with the man’s death and released him.

The deceased man is described as a homeless man in his 50s or 60s. His name is being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.

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This is a good reason to lock your vehicle doors..besides finding a body in your vehicle, it very well could have been a bad man with a weapon.

WOW, what a sad story, what a drag to find a dead man in your car. The poor guy was dying and had no place to go and no one to go to and the other poor guy had to find him in his car. I don’t think there was any wrong doing here because like Danika said, he took him to the hospital. It’s just one of those strange things that happens with the homeless.

Any relation to Robert “I went back into the restaurant to get my gun and returned to find my wife dead” Blake?

The article says he found the body after stopping for a drink downtown on Thursday afternoon. However, the police logs show French Hospital called the police about this incident at 2:52AM early Thursday morning.

I encourage CalCoastNews to do a background check on David Harrell and investigate the extremely suspicious circumstances of this death.. David “Dr. Dave” Harrell is a mentally unstable transient and a convicted felon who has spent time in county jail and Atascadero State Mental Hospital for multiple violent crimes in this county. He has recently been illegally living in his van in San Luis Obispo. Since he lives in his van, it is very unlikely that someone would wind up in his van in the middle of the night without Harrell knowing about it.

Paragon, do you know how long it took French Hospital to call the police? Having been at FH recently I can attest to the slowness in which they work, even in the E.R. dept. Also, is it possible Harrell vacated his van for several hours, only to return to find the deceased in it upon his return? He didn’t throw the body out of the van. He drove it to a hospital, which is precisely what he should have done. I’d imagine he felt no need to linger about the hospital waiting for the police due to reasons you have mentioned above.

How do you come to know about Harrell’s “illegally living in his van in SLO” and so much of his past?

I know so much about Harrell because I was working at Sierra Vista when he assaulted several members of the medical staff on 9/6/2010. Thanks to this incident, Sierra Vista has (or at least had) a restraining order against him, which is most likely why he took the body to French. The police filled us in on Harrell’s colorful background, which can be easily verified with a trip to the county courthouse.

So yes, I definitely paid attention when I started seeing Harrell sleeping in his white and red Ford Econline van around downtown SLO in the last couple months.

At the very least, Harrell was probably doing drugs with this guy, he OD’d and then Harrell took him to the ER and got the hell out of there.