MARFA, Texas – Cibolo Creek Ranch is remote and rustic, and just the place United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia planned to take some time off.
“He’s a man who went to sleep and just didn’t wake up,” said John Poindexter, a Houston businessman who owns the 32,000-acre ranch that sits about 30 miles south of Marfa.
“I and a friend of his who came from Washington, DC, knocked on his door and didn’t get an answer and presumed he was probably in the bathroom. He’s a Supreme Court Justice. Maybe he just didn’t care to answer the door,” Poindexter told News 8 after stopping by the justice’s room around 8:15 a.m. Saturday morning.
They returned three hours later, just before lunch.
“About 11:15 or so the same gentlemen and I – his friend from Washington – went to his room, entered by a side door after knocking on it vigorously and found him in his bed.”
Scalia had the presidential suite, which is an 11,000-square-foot section of the resort at the end of the building positioned in front of a lake.
“His sheets weren’t crumpled. His hands were on his chest. He was perfectly at ease,” added Poindexter.
Sunday afternoon, the curtains had been pulled on the room.
Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead at 1:52 Saturday afternoon and told News 8 she decided against an autopsy because nothing about the justice’s death appeared suspicious.
“One of the things I did ask the sheriff and the U.S. Marshal that was there – were there any signs of foul play?,” Guevara said.
They responded there was “absolutely not” any sign of foul play, she added.
Scalia’s personal physician called Guevara to tell her the justice suffered from chronic health conditions.
When asked Scalia’s cause of death, Guevara said: “His heart did stop. On the death certificate it will say myocardial infarction.”
Myocardial infarction is the medical term for a heart attack.
It was a natural death for the 79-year-old Supreme Court Justice during his first visit to this luxury resort where he had hoped to relax.