Schenectady County

Prosecutor says Niskayuna attorney died of heart ailment

The cause of death for the Niskayuna attorney whose body was found in a wooded area of the town in J

The cause of death for the Niskayuna attorney whose body was found in a wooded area of the town in January has been determined to be a heart ailment, authorities said Friday.

Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney noted there remain mysteries surrounding Michael Wallender’s death, but those mysteries don’t affect the manner of his death.

“His whereabouts the last day and a half were not really known, so there are questions,” Carney said. “But those questions aside, there’s nothing medically to lead anybody to conclude it was anything other than a natural death.”

Carney said Wallender’s official cause of death was listed as a cardiac arrhythmia.

Toxicology tests also only showed medication that was prescribed to Wallender, with that medication showing up in appropriate amounts, Carney said.

Wallender’s body was found by police on Jan. 26 in a wooded area near the intersection of River and Rosendale roads. His car was later found at the Albany International Airport. Why it was there has never been clear, Carney said.

Wallender had been reported missing the day before his body was found.

Wallender, 62, was a lifelong resident of Niskayuna and worked as an attorney with the Couch White firm in Albany.

Niskayuna police investigated the case in conjunction with the state police.

Niskayuna Police Chief John Lubrant in March said authorities were awaiting subpoenaed medical records and communications information.

Police spokesman Detective Sgt. Dan McManus said police are still waiting for some of that information. Police are still seeking the information, he said, in an effort to give Wallender’s family some answers.

“There is no indication that there’s anything criminal involved with his death,” McManus said, “but we are looking to fill in some of the holes with regards to where he was over that time.”

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