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Screams heard before man plunges off River Walk hotel balcony

ME: Michael Lopez, 46, pronounced dead after fall

San Antonio police say a man fell to his death off a downtown hotel balcony early Friday morning.

Not long after the music and merriment related to Night In Old San Antonio events had died down early Friday morning, a worker cleaning up from the Fiesta festivities said he heard a scream coming from the River Walk side of the Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel.

The worker, who asked that his identity be withheld, said it sounded like the voice of a man.

"I just heard one scream. It was, like, ‘Ah!,'' he said.

The worker said he heard the jarring sound around 12:30 a.m.

Around 2 a.m., San Antonio police received a call about 46-year-old man, who had plunged to his death from the balcony of his 18th-floor hotel room. The medical examiner identified the man Friday afternoon as Michael Lopez, of San Antonio.

"People were saying that he jumped," the worker said. "I just thought he got stabbed or something."

Officers at the scene said they were not sure whether Lopez jumped on his own, fell accidentally or was pushed.

They said his wife told them he walked out onto the balcony of their hotel after they had a heated argument.

She told officers that when she went to check on him a short time later, he was gone.

By morning, the story had spread to people along the River Walk.

Some spoke off camera, saying they had been told Lopez landed in the water.

The anonymous worker, meanwhile, said it appeared to him that he may have landed on the River Walk itself.

"I don't know how he could've landed in the river. He wasn't even wet," he said. "When I saw him, officials, police, were around him taking pictures."

Police said the case is still under investigation.

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