Suicide by Carbon Monoxide

Story by Deputy Michael Gingrich
Wood County Sheriff Department
May 24, 1977 - Journal Records.

I've edited the following photos. If you
don't want to see a dead body

Don't view this page.

It was May 24, 1977, hot and humid
with a high temperature of 87 degrees.
Threatened rain all day. No entry shown
if we got any. It was just a hot sticky day.

A call, which I always disliked, was a call to
"Check on the welfare" of someone.
That normally meant someone hasn't been
seen for days and someone was worried
about them. Many times you found a body.

I arrive at this males residence and check
inside. It was normal. I asked, what type of
car this individual had. I was told he parked
his car in a community parking garage. This
was a trailer park and the oldest residents
had parking privileges in this building.

I was told where he parked and went to the door. As I slid the door open I caught the smell I would recognize anywhere.
The smell of a human body in decomposition. It's a distinctive smell you never forget.

I walked in to find this man dead in his car.
He committed suicide by carbon monoxide.
The parking area was very tight. Little room
on each side of the car.

You can see in the left photo his arm is raised
upwards from his body expanding from
decomposition it was very hot inside this garage
and my first thought was he had been in here for
a couple days.

You can imagine the smell inside this small
parking area. I took more photos and made a
report of evidence on the scene. The auto key
was in the ignition and the switch was on.
The car was not running when I found him.

I called for the Coroner who was, at that time,
Roger Petee. The spelling of this name may not
be correct at the time of this posting.

What I can tell you about this doctor is he
delivered my daughter in Bowling Green, Ohio.

When he and a transport arrived, we
knew the only way to get this large man out of
the vehicle was to get the car out so we could
open the car doors wide enough to pull the body
out. I had to ask the crowd of people to leave the area and the coroner and I went in the garage and pushed the vehicle out.

Once outside, The coroner grabbed his foot by the shoe and I ( without thinking ) grabbed his ankle via his pant leg, sock area

only to get a handful of his body fluids oozing
out on my hands. I let go of that like it was a
hot poker, shook and wiped my hands off,
looked at the coroner who was looking at me
shaking his head like I was some kind of dummy
for grabbing him there.

I then grabbed his other shoe and we pulled
his big body out of the vehicle and directly on a
stretcher. Talk about a smell. The flies didn't help
matters much either.

Whenever I came across dead people where the
smell was so bad, it would seem to stay with me
for a couple three days then fade away.

If anything good came from it, was the fact that
I wouldn't eat much for a couple days after.

A couple notes here:

When I walked into this garage and looked through
the driver side window I was seeing what you see in
the last photo of this page but noted that his body
fluids were bubbling from his ear and draining down
from his nose, mouth and other ear onto the seat of
the car. He was cooking fast in that hot garage.

Believe it or not, I knew the individual who purchased this vehicle sometime later. I told him he would have to replace the front seat
and had my doubts if he would ever be able to get the odor out of the upholstery. I guess it was alright because I never heard him
complain about an odor. I personally would not have wanted this vehicle for any amount of money.

 I have no record or memory of any follow-up to this
 story. It makes you wonder what's in the mind of a
 person who takes their own life.








One more photo below.