A French village was consumed by intense speculation after two friends appeared to have suddenly died while eating a meal together outside of a home in Authon-du-Perche.
As British newspaper The Guardian reports, Olivier Boudin, 38, was found lying on his back on the ground while his buddy, Lucien Perot, 69, was found slumped on a chair at a terrace table with a half-finished meal in front of him. The meal apparently consisted of some wine, cheese, roast beef, canned beans and a baguette.
The BBC quoted a French prosecutor as saying there were no signs of foul play and no indication an attempt of robbery had occurred.
“Their bodies showed no apparent sign of attack. They seem to have died simultaneously,” the broadcaster quoted the prosecutor as saying.
A neighbour told local media she had spotted the pair early last Thursday morning, and assumed they were sleeping off a drunken night.
“At first, I told myself they must have been pretty drunk to still be sleeping, then when I saw Lucien still sitting at the table a bit later … I thought it must have been an extremely drunken evening,” the unnamed neighbour was quoted as saying.
The neighbour eventually called the police after noticing the men had not moved by midday.
The local mayor told reporters the dinner scene looked “as if time had suddenly stopped,” The Guardian reported.
According to the BBC, prosecutors were looking into several causes of death including murder suicide and poisoning.
Turns out, the autopsies suggested the older, who had been drinking, choked on a 1.5oz piece of meat he couldn’t chew properly as a result of missing several teeth while doctors suggest the younger man, who reportedly had a heart condition, died from a heart attack after watching his friend choke to death, The Guardian reported.
According to the BBC, the community had a sense of relief the pair died of natural causes and not from something more sinister.