NEW RUSSIA TWP. — The search for a concertgoer from Fremont who went missing from Progressive Field on Friday ended when his body was discovered Tuesday afternoon at the Lorain County landfill.
Cory Barron, 22, was found dead about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in a dump truck that had completed a route in Cleveland earlier that day, said Lorain County sheriff’s Capt. Jim Drozdowski.
After the trash was dumped and scraped away, a worker saw Barron’s body and called police.
Barron’s family reported him missing early Saturday afternoon.
Deputies from the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, detectives from the Cleveland Police Department and the Lorain County coroner arrived at the landfill about 1 p.m. Tuesday and found Barron, still with his identification and a ticket stub from the concert, Drozdowski said.
He had no obvious signs of injury, though detectives did not examine Barron’s entire body, Cleveland Police spokeswoman Ali Pillow said.
After the body was found, Cleveland police started investigating around Progressive Field in Cleveland. They had searched the area for the past few days since Barron was reported missing, Pillow said.
Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans is scheduled to perform an autopsy this morning, Drozdowski said.
The Cleveland Indians released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying that the team was saddened by Barron’s death and are cooperating with authorities in the investigation.
Country singer Jason Aldean, whose concert Barron had been attending Friday evening, published a message on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offering sympathy to Barron’s friends and family.
My sincere condolences go out to Cory Barron’s family and friends. My heart is heavy for you all and you are in my thoughts and prayers.
— Jason_Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) July 23, 2014
Just hours after receiving the news, nearly 100 people came together in Fremont Ross High School’s parking lot to support one another and mourn as a community.
The crowd was a sea of purple and white, Fremont Ross High School’s colors. Current students, recent alumni, parents and Fremont residents embraced, shed tears and shared memories.
The group joined hands and formed a circle as Jim Gippert, pastor of New Hope Vineyard Church, led a prayer.
Steve Hampshire, a retired Fremont Ross teacher, and Mike Dukeshire, a Fremont Ross parent, also spoke a few words in Barron’s honor.
Dukeshire reminisced about Barron’s jokes, time in school, and talents on the football field. He was a lineman, noted one of Barron’s classmates before stepping aside to compose himself.
“Cory would’ve made a difference in our community, our state, our country,” Dukeshire said. “He was going to be a difference-maker. Whatever he chose to do, he was going to do it well.”
“If the shoe were on the other foot, Cory would be standing right here, with all of us,” Dukeshire said.
Gippert described the community’s sense of shock, bewilderment and despair after learning of Barron’s death.
“This is a time we need to pull together as a community, as friends, as Fremont,” Gippert said.
Hampshire, meanwhile, told the group he’s known Barron’s family for three decades — he later described them as an “All-American family.”
“They’re good people. (This) came out of nowhere,” Hampshire said.
The community’s shock was apparent during Tuesday night’s vigil.
The crowd was quiet and distraught throughout the ceremony — most simply held tight onto one another’s hands, or nodded along while others spoke of the good man Barron was.
Hampshire echoed that sentiment.
“I’m sure he’s up there right now, looking down and smiling,” Hampshire said.
One woman said those who knew Barron wouldn’t be able to say a negative thing about him.
“Not most (of the people who knew him). All,” she said.
Before departing, Dukeshire, Fremont Schools school board member Scott Miller and a handful of others began to coordinate a candlelight vigil, tentatively scheduled for Thursday night at Fremont Ross High School.
Though Barron’s family wasn’t able to attend Tuesday’s ceremony, a few crowd members said they’d reach out and let them know of Thursday’s plans.
Sandusky Register reporter Courtney Astolfi contributed to this article.