The Richmond Register

January 17, 2013

Fall, hypothermia contributed to man's death

Foul play not suspected

Register staff report

RICHMOND — Hypothermia and injuries suffered when he fell about 20 feet from a window likely led to the death of an elderly man whose body was found in a shallow creek Wednesday morning less than 50 feet from his southern Madison County home.

Those are preliminary conclusions from an autopsy on the body of Walter Coomer, 81, Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison said Thursday evening.

The victim suffered blunt-force injuries to his trunk, head and extremities consistent with a fall from the window, Cornelison said. Foul play is not suspected.

The Kentucky State Police joined the coroner in the death investigation. The autopsy was conducted by the state medical examiner’s office.

Coomer was dressed but wasn’t wearing shoes when his body was found.

“He obviously hadn’t intended to go outside,” Cornelison said of the victim.

A bedroom window in the house where Coomer lived alone was open and a screen had been pushed out, the coroner said. The body was found by family members who called authorities.

Trooper Paul Blanton, a KSP spokesperson, said Wednesday that Coomer may have been trying to reach a neighbor’s house for help when he collapsed in the creek.