July 30, 2014

Elyria
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Worker found dead in trailer at fairgrounds

WELLINGTON — A 39-year-old carnival worker was found dead in her trailer Sunday at the Lorain County Fairgrounds after she failed to show up for work, according to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department.

Jill Stafford was fully clothed and was sitting on a couch with her legs stretched out, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Tim Gallagher.

There were no signs of foul play, Lorain County Coroner Paul Matus said.

“It’s under investigation, and we’re doing toxicology screenings to determine whether drugs or alcohol were involved,” Matus said.

Stafford was employed by Bates Brothers Amusements Co. of Winterville, Ohio, Gallagher said.

He said paramedics rushed to the scene, but “she was obviously gone.”

Stafford was from Jackson in south-central Ohio, according to Matus. He said Stafford’s 23-year-old daughter last saw her mother when she went to her trailer about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Gallagher said a fellow worker found Stafford inside her unlocked trailer about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Stafford was supposed to be at her post at 11, he said.

Fair President Ron Pickworth said fair staff secured the scene until deputies arrived.

Contact Cindy Leise at 653-6250 or cleise@chroniclet.com.