WHEELING - Police and fire officials worked late Monday to determine how a man died before his body was found lying along the shore of the Ohio River's back channel on Wheeling Island.
"There are no obvious signs of injury. The only thing suspicious is that the body was found outside," Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said at the scene late Monday. "It could be a suicide, a drug overdose, a heart attack - any number of things."
Officials found the white man, estimated to be in his 50s, lying along the bank of the Ohio River's back channel just south of the bridge that carries National Road from Wheeling Island to Bridgeport.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Wheeling police and fire officials remove the body of an unidentified white male from the shore of the Ohio River’s back channel on Wheeling Island late Monday.
Police Sgt. Rick Roxby said someone notified workers at a nearby business, who then contacted police.
"It is just too soon to say what happened," Roxby added.
Local officials watched over the scene until a medical examiner arrived. Schwertfeger said the medical examiner would work to determine the cause of death, but the police chief could not estimate how long this might take.
Some bystanders wondered whether the man may have fallen from the bridge above, but others said they did not believe such a fall would result in death.