Lawrence County death ruled accidental

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An autopsy determined that an Elwood City man found dead outside his neighbor's house Sunday died of a broken neck after a fall, the state police said late Monday night.

Shawn Eric Harper, 41, was found outside a house on Fox Street, about a half mile from his home on Lawrence Avenue. An autopsy at Beaver Valley Medical Center determined that Mr. Harper died after falling on steps leading to an outside patio at a neighbor's residence, the state police said in a news release. He fell during the early morning hours and was not discovered until about 1:30 p.m.

"The investigation also revealed that excessive consumption of alcohol by the victim prior to his fall is also a possible factor in his death," the news release says. "The victim's death at this time appears to be accidental in nature and not suspicious."

rzullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3909. Twitter: @rczullo.


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