Olivier Boudin and Lucien Perot were close friends, almost like "father and son," according to one person who knew them. So locals were baffled when the two French men were found dead over a backyard garden dinner at Perot's home last Thursday, 69-year-old Perot sitting at the table in front of a half-eaten plate of food and 38-year-old Boudin on his back on the ground. A neighbor initially thought they were sleeping off some booze, but when they were in the same positions later, she checked on them and found they were dead. Now, autopsies on the men have solved the mystery of what happened—and led locals to bemoan the "stupid" deaths, the Guardian reports.
There were no signs of foul play or a break-in, and though officials initially suspected a sudden case of botulism from canned beans the men were eating, tests on the food came back normal. Officials even wondered whether the friends had a suicide pact, the BBC reported at the time. On Wednesday, officials announced that postmortem examinations found Perot, who had several missing teeth, didn't properly chew the last bite of food he took, a 1.5-ounce piece of beef rib. He choked to death on it, and Boudin, who had a genetic heart condition, apparently had a fatal heart attack upon watching the scene unfold. (An odd message was recently posted about this real estate agent's unsolved 2008 murder.)