Des Moines Man Punched, Dies the Next Day

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Des Moines Police are investigating a deadly assault.

32-year-old Ryan Thompson died at the hospital Monday less than 24 hours after his fiancée says he was punched in the head.

Officers were called to her home in 7300 block of SW 17th Street after 3P p.m. Sunday on an assault.

Lindsey Engquist says at first, Thompson appeared fine. Then a few minutes later, he looked like he was having a stroke and medics rushed him to the hospital. According to Thompson’s family, the blow to his head ruptured a blood clot on his brain that no one knew was there and doctors couldn’t stop it.

“The bleeding had become too much and he had to be put on a ventilator and he was pretty much kept alive by machines and his mother made the best decision and decided that he should just go and be at peace,” said his 31-year-old fiancée.

While the father of two is now at peace, those who loved him most are at a loss.

“There's not enough I can say about him. He was wonderful. He was just a wonderful guy,” said Engquist.

Police have a suspect in the case but are not releasing his name or what criminal charges could be filed in Thompson’s death.

“We know that he was assaulted. Some of those details of how that happened are still a little sketchy. We think we've identified what the motivation may have been,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Engquist called what happened a “freak accident.” Accident or not, she said the person who hit Thompson caused his death.

“If you assault someone and they die, there is some culpability on your part and it's probably going to be criminal,” said Parizek.