Coroner: Body on road in Mansfield wasn't a homicide victim - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Coroner: Body found on road in Mansfield was not a homicide victim

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MANSFIELD, OH (WOIO) -

On Saturday, April 5 at 9:30 p.m., Richland County Sheriff officers found a deceased male off the side of Hull Road.

The male, who has been identified as 28-year-old Michael Dean Mitchell, was propped against a telephone pole with his shirt up and his pants around his knees.

Officers also noticed muddy tire tracks near Mitchell, indicating someone drove away from the scene.

The Richland County Coroner confirms that Mitchell's death was not a homicide.

Bob Ball is an investigator with the Richland County Coroner's Office. He took us to the spot in Mansfield where Mitchell was found.

"We work it back from a homicide, we start with a homicide and work it until it's not a homicide at this point we don't suspect it's a homicide," says Ball.

Ball showed pictures of Mitchell that didn't show any signs of trauma or sign of murder .

Mitchell appears to be the latest victim of the heroin epidemic.

The tox screen is not complete but it appears Mitchell overdosed and the investigation at least points to heroin.

Whoever Mitchell was with at the time of the overdose apparently dumped him there, not wanting to get caught up in a drug investigation.

"There was no foul play or anything that would show anything other than his body was dumped there and we've confirmed that it's pretty much drug related," says Ball.

The sheriffs office is investigating every angle, they want to know why and who dumped Mitchell.

"There's a lot of speculation as to why we have some ideas. We don't want to share now but there's a couple reasons why it could have happened that way," says Major Joe Masi of Richland County Sheriff's Office.

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