CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Authorities are continuing to investigate the cause of death for a 50-year-old Harrison County man found earlier this month.
A medical examiner identified Richard Lee Stonebreaker, of Clarksburg, as the individual whose remains were discovered last week near Clarksburg.
Harrison County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence at 1678 Milford Street, adjacent to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, April 1. An individual who was doing work on the property discovered the remains.
“Now the next phase is to determine the cause of death and manner of death,” said Sheriff Robert Matheny. “I will say at this point, our on scene investigation didn’t reveal anything that would be obvious to indicate any foul play, other than being in an unusual location. But at this time, that’s not anything that can be confirmed.”
The State Medical Examiner’s Office is still working to determine the cause of death.
“I’m sure that the medical examiner has done an in depth study of the bones to see if there’s any type of trauma or any type of scrapes, or holes, or anything that would be a common with a type of death other than natural causes,” Matheny said. “Once they complete that and once we pull all of our information together, then we’ll have a better idea.”
Stonebreaker, who was 47 when he was reported missing in May 2015, reportedly had health problems. Authorities said he had been known to become disoriented and unable to find his way home.
“We’re glad that the medical examiner was able to make the identification fairly quickly, that way the remains were able to be properly returned back to the family and they could start the grieving process,” Matheny said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Stonebreaker.”