Man’s death likely from exposure

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg police said preliminary investigations point to exposure as the cause of death of Nick R. Blackburn, 29.

Blackburn’s body was found around 3 p.m. Feb. 6 in the woods near the 600 block of Depot Street, according to police reports.

After the initial interviews and investigation, police do not expect foul play and are ruling it an accidental death, said Parkersburg police Chief Joe Martin.

“We’re still waiting on toxicology reports,” he said Monday. “(Investigators) think it will be ruled accidental and the cause of death to be exposure.”

Police arrived at the scene after responding to a report from Department of Highways employees who spotted a body. The man’s body was partially clothed and he was lying face down in the woods, police said.

Martin said police closed the criminal investigation Monday.

Indicators, including the removed clothing, point to early stages of hypothermia, Martin said. Blackburn lived on Fifth Street in Parkersburg.