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Police: Death of Jay Cutler's brother-in-law accidental

Michael Cavallari is seen in this undated photo distributed by the Grand County, Utah Sheriff's Office.

AP

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah medical examiner has determined NFL quarterback Jay Cutler's brother-in-law's death was accidental, saying the man died of hypothermia after walking away from his car in rocky southern Utah terrain in frigid temperatures.

Grand County Sheriff officials announced the findings Tuesday in a news release. The 30-year-old Michael Cavallari is the brother of reality TV personality Kristin Cavallari.

His body was found at the bottom of a steep hillside filled with boulders on Dec. 10, about two weeks after his abandoned car was found with the engine running and the air bag deployed about 200 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Cavallari got out of the car and likely wandered into the rocky, frigid desert. Daylight would reveal tire marks leading back from his Honda Civic to the road. It's not clear when he left the car, but he didn't follow the car's path back.

Temperatures in the Salt Wash, the steep, boulder-specked area where Cavallari was found, rarely rose above the 30-degree range in the week he went missing, Grand County Sheriff Steven White said in an interview with 48 Hours' Crimesider in December.

"In the area he was in it was very rough," White said, noting that as many as 30 deputies combed the area, along with dogs and drones. "It made the search very challenging."

cavallari1.jpg

Surveillance cameras from a convenience store and gas station in Monticello, Utah, captured the last known images of Michael Cavallari.

Grand County Sheriff's Office

Cavallari was found wearing the same clothes he had on when he stopped at the gas station in Monticello. A thin, long sleeve green shirt, jeans and sneakers. The terrain is difficult to navigate, even for experienced locals, according to White.

Investigators believed the 30-year-old man was just passing through Utah.

White says they are waiting on toxicology reports to find out if Cavallari had any drugs in his system.