Cause Of Death Of Drifter Being Investigated

April 10, 1991|By Staff report

Howard County police are attempting to determine the cause of death of a 54-year-old homeless man whose body was found Sunday on the shore of the Patapsco River near West Friendship Road in Sykesville.

The body of Hugh William Price, whom police describe as a drifter whose last known residence was Carroll County, was found at 5:45 p.m. near the Carroll County line. Police said an autopsy conducted Monday could not confirm a cause of death.

Police say Sykesville residents told them they last saw Price Sunday afternoon.

Police said the body was found by two Sykesville residents who were walking along the shore of the river. Price was fully clothed and many of his belongings, including less than $20 in cash, were found nearby, police said.

"There were no signs of foul play at the scene," said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner, a county police spokesman. "However, we have no indication as to what the cause of death was and we are still investigating."

Price had been living at a small shed near the riverbank and also had been sleeping under a nearby bridge, Gardner said. Most recently, he had lived in the 6600 block of Church Street in the Carroll County section of Sykesville, police said.

The autopsy Monday at the state medical examiner's office did notshow any signs of trauma, nor did it reveal that Price may have drowned, police said.

A toxicology test on Price's blood is being conducted by medical examiners in an attempt to determine whether he had been drinking alcohol prior to his death, Gardner said. The test takes several weeks to complete, Gardner said.

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