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Investigators seek cause of man's death

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GREENFIELD — Human remains found in a creek bed late last week have been identified as those of Jody Scroggins, a Greenfield man who had been missing since late June. Now, focus has now shifted to what caused the man’s death.

An autopsy performed Saturday by the Marion County coroner’s office was inconclusive, though it did rule out foul play, said Hancock County Sheriff’s Detective Capt. Jeff Rasche.

“Definitely nothing physical, no evidence of any type of foul play, so that’s a good thing,” Rasche said.

The doctor who performed the autopsy believes Scroggin’s cause of death is medically-related, but he is waiting to make a final ruling until toxicology screens with more information come back from the lab, Rasche said.

Rasche added it was difficult to gather evidence in the area where Scroggins was found, in the 3100 block of West U.S. 40, because of recent rain.

Police had searched the area previously, but the water was up two to three feet higher than when Scroggins was found, Rasche said. Therefore, if Scroggins had anything with him, it’s likely it washed away.

Investigators have been unable to determine whether Scroggins went into the water where he was found or elsewhere upstream.

Scroggins had been missing since June 24. He was last seen at his home, not far from where he was found Thursday.

Scroggins spoke with his mother the night of June 23 to confirm a doctor’s appointment the following morning. However, when relatives arrived to pick Scroggins up at 8:30 a.m. June 24, the door to his trailer was open, the lights were on and most of his possessions, including some of his medications, were inside.

Toxicology reports could take six weeks or longer to come back from the lab, Rasche said.

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