[font=Arial,geneva,helvetica] [/font][font=Arial,geneva,helvetica][/font] Fort Worth Star-Telegram Fort Worth Star-Telegram March 24, 1993 [size=+1]Mystery surrounds death of Irving man after traffic accident A driver vanishes from the scene of a wreck. Ten days later his body, bearing no sign of serious injury, is found in a nearby ditch.[/size] Author: Domingo Ramirez; Star-Telegram Writer Edition: NORTHEAST AM Section: METRO Page: 17 Index Terms: AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS-Fort Worth/Tarrant County Missing Persons Estimated printed pages: 2 Article Text: IRVING - First, Steven Todd Rodawalt was involved in a traffic accident March 12 near Texas Stadium and left the scene. Three days later, his father reported him missing. On Monday, Rodawalt, 24, of Irving, was found dead in a drainage ditch just a few feet from the accident site. That's all police are sure of as they try to learn what happened to Rodawalt - who wasn't seriously injured - and how he died nearby. As of late yesterday, authorities had not determined what killed Rodawalt, who had not been seen since the accident. "There were some small abrasions on him, but that was about it," said Sydney Gomez, an Irving police spokeswoman. A ruling on the cause of Rodawalt's death should be made in the next few weeks after completion of toxicology and other tests, said a spokesman with the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office. Based on a preliminary autopsy, police don't believe that Rodawalt die! d from injuries suffered in the traffic accident or from falling into the ditch. "There were no external or internal injuries to cause his death," said police Capt. Travis Hall. Investigators scoured the scene yesterday where Rodawalt's body was found Monday afternoon by a motorist who had run out of gas and then noticed the body as he walked to use a phone, police said. Police believe that Rodawalt had been dead for several days. According to a traffic accident report, Rodawalt was driving a 1979 Olds Cutlass on March 12 when it hit the rear of another vehicle in the 2300 block of Storey Lane near Texas Stadium. Rodawalt was apparently driving home when the accident occurred, Hall said. "The other motorist walked to a telephone to call police, and when he returned, Rodawalt's vehicle was there, but he was gone," Gomez said. Police have no idea where Rodawalt was when the motorist returned. Three days l! ater, Norman Rodawalt, Steven's father, reported his son missing. "When we didn't hear from him on the day of the accident, we knew something had happened to him, but we didn't know what," Norman Rodawalt said yesterday. "He had been living with us, and I don't believe he had any health problems." Steven Rodawalt graduated from Irving Christian Academy and was attending the University of Texas at Arlington. "We don't know if he went to that ditch to hide or what," Hall said. "He had no identification on him except for a letter with his name on it." Funeral for Steven Rodawalt is tomorrow at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Irving. Burial will be in Oakgrove Cemetery. Steve was my son and I have gotten absolutely no help from the Irving Police Department. The wreck was minor and the two men in the other cars had shady pasts. The official cause of death was drowning but the only way to drown in that ditch would be if someone held your face in the water. I was only about an inch deep and two inches wide. The knees were scraped out of his jeans, the toes scuffed off his shoes and bruises and abrasions indicated he had been dragged. Anyone with a shred of advice would be welcome.