The Nov. 19 death of a 58-year-old Long Beach resident, which authorities originally identified as a murder, has been reclassified due to new information from the Los Angeles County Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner, officials announced Monday. The Long Beach Police Department is now conducting an “undetermined death investigation.”
Michael Marker, 58, died after sustaining multiple stab wounds to the upper body during a physical altercation with 64-year-old Long Beach resident Ronald Wandersee at the Century Villages at Cabrillo on Nov. 19. Authorities had booked Wandersee for murder because of the incident, but the coroner later determined that Marker’s stab wounds do not appear to be his cause of death, according to police.
Wandersee’s bail had been set at $2 million, but he has now been released due to the coroner’s finding.
Officers first responded to the incident in the 2000 block of San Gabriel Avenue just after 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 19, where police made contact with Wandersee, who was being treated for non-life-threatening lacerations on his upper body.
Through their preliminary investigation, homicide detectives found that the two men knew each other and got into an argument. According to police, Marker allegedly began physically assaulting Wandersee, who then pulled out a knife and stabbed Marker repeatedly.
“Charges and filing considerations with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will be reconsidered pending the conclusion of the Coroner’s Office investigation,” police said in a release. The police investigation is ongoing, and the coroner’s office will continue to conduct its own investigation, including a review of a pending toxicology report.
This reclassification changes the year-to-date total of murders in Long Beach from 35 to 34, as of Nov. 28, according to police.