November 20, 2014

Elyria
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Police: Man wounded self, set fire before dying

ELYRIA — After an investigation into an initially suspicious death, police determined that the 62-year-old man whose body was found after an apartment fire on Monday actually started the fire himself.
About 11 p.m. Monday, the Elyria Fire Department responded to a fire on the second floor in a quadplex on 341 East River St. Firefighters kept the fire contained to that apartment.
The body of 62-year-old Franklin Cory was found in the bathtub of the apartment after the fire. He had one stab wound below the ribcage, according to Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino.
The death, which was initially labeled suspicious by police, led Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans to conduct an autopsy Tuesday, concluding that Cory died from smoke inhalation.
Police, the Fire Department and the coroner’s office began an investigation into the incident and on Friday, police determined that Cory both stabbed himself and set his own apartment on fire.
“There were things he had written,” Costantino said of certain pieces of evidence found at the scene that led police to their conclusions.
Costantino added that police identified and interviewed the woman in the car who was seen driving from the apartment immediately following the fire Thursday night as a tenant at one of the units in the building.
“It was the sheer shock of everything,” Costantino said, explaining why the woman left in such a hurry.
The Elyria Fire Department is still investigating the incident, but police said that the fire was started at multiple points in the apartment.
Evans said he is unable to tell whether Cory started the fires before he stabbed himself.
“We feel very comfortable,” Costantino said of the conclusion that Cory set the fire.
However Costantino added that anyone who has factual information should still come forward to police.
“I’m always open to hearing it,” he said.
Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com.