COLUMBUS — U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor, who was found dead in his apartment in suburban Washington earlier this week, died of blunt head and neck trauma consistent with a fall down stairs, according to a medical examiner’s report released Friday.
The fall appears to have been accident, said Lucy Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Health, which includes the state’s medical examiner’s office.
Police have assessed the scene and found no evidence of foul play, but the medical examiner’s investigation will not be finalized until all chemical and ancillary tests are complete, Caldwell said.
Gillmor’s family was informed of the findings, she said.
Aides found Gillmor’s body Wednesday at his town house in Arlington, Va., after he failed to show up at the Capitol for morning meetings.
Gillmor, 68, a Republican from a solidly conservative district in northwest Ohio, spent four decades in politics. He was elected to Congress in 1988.
Government leaders in Ohio announced plans Friday for Gillmor to lie in state next week in the Statehouse Rotunda.
Gillmor served in the Ohio Senate from 1967-89 and was its president from 1981-83 and 1985-89.
A delegation of about 90 people from Washington is expected for Tuesday’s service, said Gregg Dodd, deputy director of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, which coordinates events at the Statehouse.
Only six people, including President Abraham Lincoln, have lain in state in the Rotunda.
Others honored with Statehouse services include Presidents James A. Garfield, Rutherford B. Hayes and William McKinley, all Ohioans, as well as Vern Riffe, speaker of the House for 22 years, and four-term Gov. James A. Rhodes.
Lincoln’s body was taken from Washington to his Springfield, Ill., home by train, stopping in several cities for services along the way.
Thousands of people lined up at the Statehouse on April 29, 1865, to pay their respects, according to the Ohio Historical Society.
Details of the Statehouse service were still being planned Friday, said Keith Dailey, spokesman for Gov. Ted Strickland. The Ohio Senate canceled its Tuesday afternoon session and the House moved its session from morning to afternoon.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday in Tiffin, followed by a memorial service and private burial in Gillmor’s hometown of Old Fort.
Gillmor is survived by his wife, Karen, and five children. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Gillmor Charitable Foundation, the Heidelberg College institutional advancement office or the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont.
Under Ohio law, Strickland must call a special election to replace Gillmor. No date has yet been set.