The discovery of a man’s body outside of a hotel on Mark Twain Avenue in Hannibal on Wednesday morning is being investigated by police and the Marion County coroner.
Lt. John Zerbonia of the HPD said in an e-mail to the Courier-Post that police were initially called to the scene on the report of a “man down in the parking lot” at the site.
According to Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Shinn, the body of a white male in his early 60s was found. Shinn said there is no indication how long the body might have been on the property before it was discovered. The sheriff’s office was notified about the death at approximately 8 a.m.
Shinn’s office was called to the scene since by state statute the sheriff or one of his deputies takes on the duties of acting coroner when the coroner is out of town. Marion County Coroner Darrell McCoy is in Jefferson City where he is participating in an annual training conference.
Both McCoy and Shinn declined to reveal the name of the deceased pending notification of the next of kin. However, a family member identified the deceased as Howard Miller of Hannibal.
McCoy reported the death is being investigated because of its “cause and manner.”
Zerbonia cautioned against reading too much into the fact police are looking into the death.
“Right now it is nothing more than a death investigation with an autopsy scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday),” said Zerbonia in an e-mail response.
According to Shinn, the body was taken to the James O’Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal. On Thursday, it will be transported to Columbia for an autopsy. McCoy says the autopsy will be conducted at the University of Missouri Hospital.