(This story has been updated with additional information about the man's death and interviews with people who knew him.)
The Cedar Park Police Department ruled Monday that the death of a homeless man found over the weekend in the brush and tree line behind the Texaco gas station located at 2509 South Bell Boulevard, near the Lakeline Boulevard and Highway 183 toll road intersection, was due to a medical condition.
Police identified the man as Joseph Wayne Heffron, 50, who went by the nickname "Sarge" by the people who knew him and the other people experiencing homelessness who also live in the area or across the street under the highway bridge.
Edward Nedoroscik, 52, and others who knew "Sarge" said he had been living homeless in the area for somewhere between 15 and 20 years. Heffron was last seen alive Friday afternoon with his trademark cane, which he used due to problems he experienced with one of his legs, and his Purple Heart hat. They also said he suffered from several medical issues throughout his life, which resulting in an ambulance needing to be called for him on several occasions.
Nedoroscik, who is also living homeless in the area, and others who knew Heffron said he always claimed to be a former U.S. Marine and would often ask for money at the intersection while holding a sign asking for help to "feed a hungry vet."
Police and others were unable to confirm Monday whether Heffron had served.
Due to the nature of how Heffron was found Sunday, police had originally been investing the incident as a suspicious death pending an autopsy report.The department is requesting anyone with information surrounding this incident to contact Sergeant Scott Buchanan at 512-260-4754.
Nedoroscik, who was one of the first people to find Heffron's body, said Heffron was often a loner and wasn't liked by the group living under the bridge to frequent issues with him stealing from them.
However, he said he was still sad to hear about his passing.
“It’s sad to see anyone go. I didn’t like him too much. But I’m still sad for him,” Nedoroscik said.
Other individual interviewed in the area, who asked that their names not be used, said Heffron was standoffish but could be very warm and funny when he was having a good day. They said he particularly liked to make jokes on a good day to make people smile, often joking with clerks at the gas station that he should receive a discount for being such a loyal customer.