Unmarked death site amid Vegas mysteries

It is easy to see why there are conflicting stories about how John McCarthy came to die at dawn on Sunday morning at the Flamingo casino in Las Vegas.

His body was found at the base of a palm tree in the driveway that runs to the hotel's main vehicle entrance, between one wing of the Flamingo and the adjoining Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon, two of the older venues on the strip.

The long drive running from Las Vegas Boulevard is lined on each side by palm trees, the tallest of which are almost level with the roofline of the two buildings.

The tower of the Flamingo rises out of this three story building and is set far back.

Mr McCarthy's body was found at the foot of one of these palms, just metres from where casino staff manage limousines and taxis from a booth, perhaps giving rise to the suggestion that he fell from one of the trees.

Staff have been instructed not to discuss the matter with reporters, though it is understood they believe he fell or jumped from the roof. There is no public access to the roof, and there is no public space on the floor immediately below.

The only other apparent possibility is that he had somehow gained access to a small balcony, the only other feature on the long, blank wall.

On Sunday night it was reported that police said they were interviewing people who had been at or near the scene at the time, though this was not confirmed today by a Las Vegas Police Department spokeswoman, Laura Meltzer.

She said police were investigating whether or not there was useful security footage of the scene and would be interviewing any other players who had been with McCartney before the incident.

She said detectives responded as a matter of procedure but that the incident was not necessarily considered suspicious.

Today, as tourists posed with Elvis lookalikes and super heroes on the famous strip, staff who worked in bars just metres away knew nothing of the event.

The site of McCarthy's death was unmarked.

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