Autopsy performed on 33-year-old found in Jennings County

JENNINGS COUNTY –The cause of death for a 33-year-old Jennings County man whose body was found near Country Squire Lakes subdivision north of North Vernon has been ruled a suicide.

Deputies were sent to the intersection of Hylander Drive and Country Manor Road in the subdivision at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday on an initial 911 call indicating that someone may have died from multiple gunshot wounds, said Lt. Mike Mowery, Jennings County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

The person who called deputies was at home in the subdivision when he heard what sounded like shots, Mowery said.

Concerned that his grandmother lived in the subdivision, he walked along Hylander Drive to her home to check on her and saw a backpack, duffle bag and some trash bags in the roadway, Mowery said.

The individual moved the items to the side of the road, and as he was doing that saw the deceased man near a wood line along the road, Mowery said.

The person who reported the body incorrectly linked the sound of what he thought were gunshots to the body when he called 911, Mowery said. Deputies now theorize what the individual heard might have been a truck backfiring in the area, he said. A neighbor told police that a vehicle driving by had backfired multiple times before police arrived.

Investigators have determined the deceased man had only been in the location where he was found for a short time, Mowery said. The man was on foot and had not been reported missing prior to his body being discovered near the tree line, Mowery said.

An autopsy was performed Thursday afternoon and revealed what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds, Mowery said. The autopsy did confirm there were no gunshot wounds, he said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.