Ohio authorities have revealed that fentanyl played a role in the death of 14-year-old Jonathan Minard, whose body was found in mid-April, buried in a shallow grave mere days after he’d been reported missing.
The Carroll County Coroner has determined that Minard’s death was a homicide, and was caused by “acute fentanyl intoxication.”
The search for Minard, who went missing April 13, ended on April 19 after his remains were recovered from the grounds of a farm in Washington Township.
According to police, Minard disappeared while helping a 29-year-old man on a farm in New Harrisburg, Ohio.
No arrests have been made in the case.
“Homicide, in death investigation and forensic medicine, simply means that the death was caused by the actions or omissions of another person,” Carroll County Coroner Dr. Mandal Haas said in a statement. “Some of these deaths may be subject to criminal prosecution, others are not. Coroner’s rulings are not determinative of any legal outcome.”
The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Minard’s death continues, Carroll County Sheriff Dale Williams said.
“This investigation is active,” reads a statement from Williams. “Dr. Haas has completed his work, which is very important to our investigation, but the coroner’s determinations are not conclusive of criminal investigation.”
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“My deputies continue to work the case and we are also working with other agencies such as the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to gather and evaluate the evidence,” Williams said. “This takes time and we want to be thorough. I also want the public to know that they are safe.”
Carroll County Prosecuting Attorney Steven Barnett agreed with Williams that “…The investigation is still ongoing, and it is carefully being pursued with all deliberate speed. We will take appropriate legal action when we are comfortable that the investigation is sufficiently complete do so.”