November 28, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
27°F
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Body found on North Ridgeville lawn

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Police say it doesn’t not appear that a man whose body was discovered this morning laying along Mills Road died of foul play.

Police were notified by a caller just before 9 a.m. of the body, which was found in a lawn near a Mills Road home close to White Pine Way.

The man, who had no documentation on him, was later identified by police using Bureau of Motor Vehicle photo records as James C. Hartman, 31.

“It does not appear that he died of foul play,” North Ridgeville Police Sgt. Dean Mraz said. “There were no signs of obvious trauma to the body of any kind.”

The man, who had gone through some personal troubles of late, including a divorce, had no fixed address.

“He was not homeless, but had been staying with friends. He’d been having some hard times,” Mraz said.

Police said they were also initially doubtful of the man having taken his own life.

“We don’t believe so,” Mraz said. “It didn’t appear that way. There was no note or anything like that.”

The case has been turned over to the Lorain County Coroner’s office.

“We’re waiting on the results of an autopsy now,” Mraz said.

Judging from the condition in which police found the man’s body, they estimated Hartman had been dead about six hours, Mraz said.

The man was fully clothed and wearing a coat.

“We’re not exactly sure what happened,” Mraz said. “There was a large rock at found next to the sidewalk. It’s possible he could have tripped over and struck his head. It was pretty dark in that area.”

Hartman grew up in North Ridgeville and had moved away for a time before coming back to the area, police said.

His parents, who were not identified by police, were notified of their son’s death at their place of employment in Elyria, Mraz said.

Police had dealt with Hartman in the past, mostly for minor, alcohol-related issues, Mraz said.