Deputies Say No Foul Play Suspected In Man's Death

Pitt County deputies say they have no reason to suspect foul play in the death of a man with Down syndrome.

The body of Michael Simmons was found in the home he shared with his parents by an investigator who was canvassing the neighborhood after a break-in nearby.

Simmons' parents were away in South Carolina, but returned several hours after the body was found.

This afternoon the Sheriff's Office says it has closed the case on the 36-year-old man's death. The Pitt County Medical Examiner's Office says Simmons died from natural causes.


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Deputies say they're investigating the death of a man who was found dead in his parent's home late Wednesday morning.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday but we're told there were no obvious wounds to the body.

Authorities arrived at the two-story brick home on Trails End in eastern Pitt County shortly before noon. They found the body of Michael Simmons inside.

Trails End is off B Stokes Road, between Highway 43 and Ivy Road.

Neighbors say 36-year-old Simmons had Down syndrome. Deputies say his parents were in Charleston, South Carolina and arrived back shortly before 2:00 p.m.

Several investigators from the Sheriff's Office were on scene as well as District Attorney Clark Everett and an assistant district attorney.

"There was a window that they could see through and saw what appeared to be a dead body," said spokeswoman Christy Wallace. "At this point we are very early in a death investigation and we should be able to determine in the next couple of hours, whether or not the death is suspicious."

Deputies say the discovery happened as they were canvassing the neighborhood because of a burglary today at the nearby Prudoe Bay subdivision. In that case, investigators say a deputy spotted a break-in this morning. Canines were sent into that home and at least one suspect quickly gave up.

The Sheriff's Office says afterward one of their investigators was checking other nearby neighborhoods when he spotted something out of place in front of the home on Trails End. He went to check and found the person dead.

There is no word yet on how Simmons died.


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