VINDY EXCLUSIVE | March death of man in vacant home ruled homicide


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The death of a man whose mummified remains were found in March in a vacant South Side home has been ruled a homicide.

A report by the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy found that John Degraffenried, 69, of Willis Avenue, died of blunt force trauma to the head and upper extremities.

The coroner’s report was filed May 25.

Degraffenried was found about 1:35 p.m. March 20 inside a vacant West Glenaven Avenue home on the South Side.

Reports said police were called to the home for a report a body was inside. When they arrived, neighbors told officers the owner of the home had died a few months before.

The home had no power, a front door was unlocked, and the screen was broken out of the back door, reports said.

Degraffenried was found a few feet past the front door. He was lying on cushions and covered with blankets.

Reports said the body was almost mummified. There were no apparent signs of foul play that were visible. A police report at the time labeled the case an “apparent natural death.”

The coroner’s report said the house was filthy. There were red stains on the cushions.

The Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, who performed the autopsy, identified Degraffenried by his fingerprints three days after he was found.

A Degraffenried relative told coroner’s investigators that Degraffenried had been missing for a few years, but she knew none of the details of his medical history.

Besides the blunt force trauma that was found, tests also found cocaine in Degraffenried’s system, reports said.

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