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Coroner's Report Leaves Unanswered Questions About Joey LaBute Death


A coroner’s report leaves unanswered questions about a Gahanna man found dead, in March, in the Scioto River.

The final coroner’s report failed to reveal how Jospeh "Joey" LaBute, 26, of Gahanna, died.

Franklin County Coroner Doctor Anahi Ortiz ruled the cause and manner of death to be “undetermined,” noting the final autopsy report made “no significant findings.”

Toxicology tests showed elevated ethanol levels, but the report notes that “can be indicative of the decomposition process.” The report did not provide specific ethanol levels.

In late March, Ortiz said there was a "high probability" LaBute was dead before he went into the river. 

LaBute went missing March 5. He was last seen at the Union Cafe in the Short North. LaBute's body was found in the Scioto River south of Downtown on March 29.