Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Officer Found Dead at Home Saturday Had Followed Father's Path to Law Enforcement

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Officer Found Dead at Home Saturday Had Followed Father's Path to Law Enforcement

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS - When St. Louis police Officer Alexander Klein didn't show up at a fundraiser he spearheaded for a fellow officer in need Saturday, his friends feared something could be wrong.

It was the second time within months that Klein had planned a fundraiser for an officer diagnosed with cancer. And it wasn't like Klein not to show up, his father, Ron Klein, said.

"He was so big-hearted, he cared more about others than he did himself," he said.

Klein's friends found his body on a small concrete patio behind his home in the Affton area about 11 a.m. They called his father, retired St. Louis police Sgt. Ron Klein, who rushed to his son's side. It looked as if his son had been sitting on the two concrete stairs that lead to the patio from his house and fell forward at some point, causing a cut to his head, his father said.

He usually went out there to smoke, and had a lighter in his hand when he was found, Ron Klein said.

A preliminary autopsy did not reveal a cause of death, but authorities do not suspect foul play. Toxicology and other analyses are pending -- including tests for hemochromatosis, a genetic condition that causes iron to build up in the body, Ron Klein said. It can be fatal, and relatives have died from it.

Not long before his death, Alex Klein was going to get a blood test to see if he had the condition, but missed it when he got called into work, his father said.

"He kept telling me he would reschedule it," Ron Klein said. "But just like any other kid, he kept saying, 'Nothing is wrong with me.'"

His father reminded him that the officer who had been diagnosed with bladder cancer thought he was fine, too, just weeks before.

"We wish we knew what happened," Ron Klein said. "We are devastated."

Following his father

Alex Klein got a taste of police work early, as his father often put his son's car seat in his take-home patrol car to drive him to his baby sitter's house. He watched events such as the elephant walk when the circus came to town from a police officer's perspective of logistics as his father worked in the traffic safety division. …

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