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Police: East Hampton man found dead by plow operator

An 84-year-old man whose body was found outside his home early Wednesday morning by a snowplow operator apparently died as the result of a medical episode, East Hampton Town police said.

A final determination on the cause of death will be made after an autopsy by the Suffolk County medical examiner's office. But East Hampton Capt. Chris Anderson said the death of Ralph E. Batalla, of East Hampton, does not appear storm related.

"It doesn't appear he was doing anything strenuous [when the death occurred]," Anderson said, also noting there was no indication of anything suspicious.

He said Batalla was discovered just outside the front door of his home by a plow contractor at 7:35 a.m. and that investigators believe Batalla died "hours before" -- possibly on Tuesday evening.

Anderson said Batalla lived alone on the secluded two-block residential street and that his family had been notified.

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