Foul play is not believed the cause of a Hannibal man’s death, whose body was discovered Wednesday morning in Hannibal. Police made that announcement Thursday after being advised of the preliminary results of an autopsy on 63-year-old Howard Miller that was conducted earlier in the day in Columbia.
While foul play is not the suspected cause of death, it’s still too early to say what did take the life of the man, whose body was discovered in the parking lot of a hotel in the 600 block of Mark Twain Avenue.
“With this case there’s nothing that’s screaming at the pathologist, ‘Hey, this is what caused the death,’” said Marion County Coroner Darrell McCoy on Thursday afternoon.
The exact cause of death may not be determined for weeks.
“They’re still going to wait the six to eight weeks, to get the blood work back so they don’t miss anything, before I get a full autopsy report,” said McCoy.
The coroner reports that the preliminary autopsy results did not reveal how long Miller’s body might have been in the parking lot before it was discovered.
According to police, officers were dispatched to the scene at 7:30 a.m. The initial response was to investigate the report of a “man down in the parking lot” at the site. On Thursday, police reported that Miller was dead when they arrived.
An investigation into the death was immediately launched by police and the coroner because of its “cause and manner.”
“People just don’t typically die in parking lots,” said McCoy, noting that standard protocol was followed in the case. “We treat every death initially as a crime scene or potential crime scene until we can rule out and figure out what exactly happened.”