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PADUCAH — Preliminary autopsy results confirm initial findings that foul play is not indicated in the death of Ray Taliaferro, according to a news release from Paducah Police Department.

An autopsy was conducted Tuesday at the Regional Crime Lab in Madisonville, Kentucky. A report has not been finalized, but exposure to the elements may have played a part in the California man’s death.

Taliaferro, 79, was reported missing Nov. 10 to the Massac County Sheriff’s Department. His body was found Sunday by two teenagers in a wooded area off South 25th Street and Brooks Stadium Drive in Paducah.

Taliaferro was a journalist and news anchor for KGO-AM radio and KRON television in the San Francisco Bay area. Taliaferro was a trailblazer. He was the first black talk show host in a major market and first black member of San Francisco Art Commission. He had served as head of the city’s NAACP.

Taliaferro was honored with the Black Chamber Life Award in 1994 from San Francisco Black Chamber of Commerce for being a forerunner in broadcasting. He named to the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in 2011 and NABJ created an award in Taliaferro’s name that recognizes journalistic entrepreneurship.

Robin Newberry, of the Paducah Police Department, said her understanding is that Taliaferro’s wife inherited some land in Massac County, and the couple made a trip to Illinois to check out the property.

The investigation is continuing. Further information will be released when it becomes available.

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Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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