By joe gorman
City police and coroner’s investigators are searching for the identity of a man found dead in a South Side driveway Monday morning.
Detective Sgt. Rick Spotleson said a student found the man’s body at a vacant 266 E. Hilton Ave. home as she was walking to school about 10 a.m.
The man’s death is the city’s 15th homicide of the year and second within a week. On Friday, a cleanup crew found the body of 18-year-old Mason Fleming in a wooded area next to a vacant house at Worthington and Fleming avenues in the Brier Hill section of the North Side.
Dr. Joseph Ohr, a forensic pathologist with the Mahoning County Coroner’s office, said the man who was found in the driveway was shot in the back and the bullet traveled out through his chest.
Dr. Ohr said the man had no identification on him. The man was wearing leather pants and had nail polish on his finger nails. The man had curly hair and good teeth, which will be important to help find out who he is if investigators need to use dental records, and he is between 25 and 35 years old.
Ohr said the man had been lying in the drive for only a few hours and that it would have been hard for someone to spot him earlier because the driveway was in shadows and the man was wearing dark clothing.
Spotleson said it appears the man is Hispanic.
Onlookers who did not want to give their names gave a mixed description of the neighborhood, saying that it has seen its bad times but also has been quiet recently.
A man who lives across the street said he has complained about the vacant home for some time and had called police on occasion when he saw people there.
The home is about five houses from where Dion Weatherspoon, 24, was killed June 13, 2012. He was shot to death in daylight in his front yard after a fight among several people.
Walter Drake, 28, was arrested in Weatherspoon’s death. He is expected to be tried in May of next year.
In 2012, Youngstown had 26 homicides. At this point in 2012, the city had 23 homicides.