WHEELING - Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger this morning said a preliminary investigation indicates that the man found dead along the banks of the Ohio River Monday evening died of natural causes.
Schwertfeger did not release the man's name, however, and said that as of 10 a.m. the medical examiner's office was still working to track down the decedent's family.
The man was not a transient, the chief pointed out, and recently resided in Wheeling. Investigators believe the man has family residing in the Parkersburg area.
Wheeling police and fire department personnel responded to a report of an unresponsive person at a business on South Wabash Street on the west end of Wheeling Island around 6:30 p.m. Monday.
First responders discovered a white male in his late 50s lying on the ground near the Bridgeport Bridge, which carries National Road over the back channel of the river from Bridgeport to Wheeling Island.
A medical examiner arrived on the scene and the body was transported to Wheeling Hospital. According to police, it was apparent to officers that the man was dead when they arrived on the scene, and Schwertfeger last night said there were no obvious signs of trauma on the body.