The death of a soldier found in Bolin Creek in November was the result of drowning, according to autopsy results released Wednesday.
Sgt. Shane Scott Pease, 24, was found by a jogger around 9 a.m. Nov. 19. He had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.18, which contributed to his death, the autopsy report states.
The report states that Pease suffered minor blunt force trauma to his head and had hemorrhages, consistent with injuries from a fall.
He also had cuts and scrapes on his face, head, hands, right leg, left hip and back.
As of Thursday, Chapel Hill police were still waiting on the death certificate — which will declare whether or not the death was accidental — from the medical examiner’s office.
“Until we see that, we wouldn’t make a determination whether to close (the case) or whether to keep investigating it,” said Sgt. Josh Mecimore, spokesman for Chapel Hill police.
Dr. Christopher Gordon, who performed the autopsy, said the medical examiner’s office was planning to send the death certificate to the police late Thursday.
Police said in January it appeared there was no foul play involved in Pease’s death.
Pease was a paratrooper in the 82nd Air Borne Division stationed at Fort Bragg.
He joined the Army in August 2006 and served tours in Iraq from March to October in 2007, and then from December 2008 to November 2009.
Pease was posthumously promoted from a specialist to a sergeant.
According to the investigation report also released by the medical examiner’s office, Pease was visiting from Fort Bragg with a couple of other soldiers.
Pease was involved in a bar fight with a stranger the night of his death, according to Chapel Hill police Sgt. Rodney Matthews, who spoke with the medical examiner in November.
Pease was separated from his friends and left downtown Chapel Hill by himself, the investigation report states.
According to the report, it appears Pease may have fallen or stumbled into the creek, but he is not believed to have fallen from the nearby bridge.
Since the article was published, the Chapel Hill police closed the investigation, according to a press release from the police department. The final medical examiner’s report ruled the death an accidental drowning, and that finding was consistent with the police investigation, the press release states.
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