April 24, 2014

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Authorities await autopsy on body of teen found on Lexington Avenue

LORAIN — Police are awaiting results of an autopsy as they continue to investigate the death of a Lorain teen whose body was found Friday night in a wooded area of Lexington Avenue.

The body of Deandre McDowell was found around 8 p.m. Friday by a man and woman who were reportedly walking in the area.

Police were not releasing much information about the case Sunday, but Lorain police Lt. Roger Watkins said the death is regarded as suspicious because police don’t believe the teen died at the spot where his body was found.

“There is the distinct possibility that the teen did not die there because the body may have been placed there,” Watkins said.

He did not elaborate as to why police believe the body may have been moved, but said the spot where the teen was found was several miles from where he lived.

Watkins also declined to say whether the body showed signs trauma.

McDowell was last seen about 6 p.m. Thursday in the area of West 23rd Street and Reeves Avenue, police said.

A man and woman who were driving on Lexington Avenue watching a group of wild turkeys said they came across the teen’s body when the woman, who declined to identify herself, said she spotted a shirt the teen was wearing.

That information hasn’t been verified by police, Watkins said Sunday.

Watkins said police have not yet determined a time of death and are awaiting results of an autopsy.

“The coroner’s findings will give us more of a direction we should be going in,” Watkins said.

Calls to Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans were not returned Sunday.

Watkins said none of McDowell’s friends who had been interviewed by police claim to have seen the teen between the hours of 6 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday when his body was found.

Asked whether anyone who knew the teen may have been involved in his death, Watkins said there were no indications that was the case.

“Everyone seemed to be pretty surprised (by his death),” Watkins said.

“Everything was fine, to their knowledge” when they last saw McDowell, Watkins said.

Police are asking for the public’s help in the case, and are especially interested in hearing from anyone who might have seen McDowell between 6 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Lorain Police Detective Bureau at (440) 204-2105.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.