No signs of foul play in boy's Mercer County drowning death
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A 12-year-old boy found dead in the Shenango River in Mercer County drowned, the Sharon police chief said this morning.
Sharon police Chief Michael Menster said the county coroner found no signs of foul play, but he said the coroner would not declare the manner of death until police had completed an investigation into the circumstances of the drowning.
The boy, Mark Goodrich Jr., disappeared Thursday and was found in the river Saturday morning. Police in Sharon and Brookfield, Ohio, are still investigating what had happened at the river, where he and other children were swimming Thursday, the chief said.
On Saturday, the boy's family told WYTV 33 that they suspected, based on the account of another child, that the boy was beaten and thrown into the river by other children. His father also said Goodrich had been dared to jump off the top of the bridge, but hadn't wanted to do so, according to the television station.
The coroner's office declined to comment, referring questions to Southwest Mercer County Regional police, who assisted in locating the body.
The coroner found no bruising or other signs trauma on the boy, Southwest Mercer County Regional police Capt. Doug Long said.
The police chief in Brookfield, Ohio, Dan Faustino, said investigators were reviewing video footage from a nearby steel plant which showed three children on a railroad bridge. Later in the video, only two children remained on the bridge, he said.
The footage is not high quality, so police have been unable to identify the children or one child disappeared. Investigators are also conducting interviews with other children who were at the river Thursday, Chief Menster said.
First Published July 16, 2012 1:02 pm