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Police: Sudden Death Of Dog On Walk In Central Park Caused By Heart Attack

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Following an investigation, the NYPD said there was no criminality involved with the death of a dog in Central Park.

David Burke told police he was walking his Labrador retriever named "Duke" at around 10 p.m. Tuesday near West 110th Street and Central Park West, CBS2 reported.

Duke was off his leash and ran ahead of him down a hill. When Burke caught up with Duke, he said he found his injured dog with what looked like a gunshot to the head, CBS2 reported.

But Burke admitted he did not hear any gunshots.

The necropsy conducted by the ASPCA found Duke died from a heart attack, police said. They said the official cause of death is an enlarged heart and natural causes.

The puncture wounds found to Duke's head happened after his death, according to authorities.

There is no evidence of a bullet and no bullet was found in the dog's body, police said.

Before fowl play had been ruled out, dog walkers were surprised to hear what had happened.

"I don't think it would be unusual to jump to that as a potential conclusion, but I've never heard of a dog being deliberately injured by a person in the park," one woman told Papa.

"Oh my gosh, I dunno, maybe a coyote or some sort of animal," another man said.

Police said considering Duke's cause of death, the investigation is complete.

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