DEFIANCE Defiance police learned yesterday that six weeks ago, Dr. James Preston, Defiance County coroner, ruled that suicide was the cause of an early August death police had been investigating.
Dr. Preston made the ruling in the death of Melvin Tyrone Dailey, 19, whose body was found on Aug. 6. The coroner filed a report with the Defiance County Health Department on Sept. 22.
But Dr. Preston did not return calls to police, and they just learned yesterday after repeated calls from a Blade reporter to both police and the coroner that the coroner had made the ruling, assistant police chief Tim Tobias said.
Dr. Preston referred through a nurse phone calls from The Blade to police yesterday.
The body of Mr. Dailey, who died of a single gunshot wound in the head, was found in a shelter house in Defiance s Veterans Memorial Park on Williams Street, about a block from the duplex he rented at 825 Wayne Ave.
Police found a gun at the scene, but Defiance Police Chief Norm Walker said at the time that his department was investigating the death as a homicide until proven otherwise.