Motorist discovers body in Nelso

By Mike Sever Record-Courier staff writer Published:

NELSON _ The death of a man whose body was found Sunday afternoon in a ditch off of Fenstermaker Road has been ruled a homicide by the Portage County Coroner's Office.

Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley said the black male in his late 20s or early 30s was spotted in the ditch by a passing motorist about 4 p.m. Sunday. Kaley would not comment on the cause of death. The body was found about a mile south of S.R. 422.

"We don't believe he'd been there for long," Kaley said, noting the road is fairly well-traveled.

Kaley said papers were found on the body, but there was no positive photo identification. The sheriff would not speculate on the man's identity, except to say he did not believe the man was a Portage County resident.

Kaley described the man as being neatly dressed in pressed blue jeans and a leather jacket.

The body was transported to the Summit County Coroner's Office where an autopsy was expected to be performed today, Portage County Coroner Roger Marcial said.

A preliminary autopsy report and identification of the body were due today or early tomorrow, he said.

Nelson is located in the northeast corner of Portage County, northeast of Ravenna and east of Garrettsville and Hiram. The rural township borders Geauga County to the north and Trumbull County to the east. Fenstermaker Road runs north and south about a mile west of the Trumbull border.

Representatives from the Portage County Prosecutor's Office also were at the scene where the body was found Sunday.

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