The coroner has ruled out hypothermia as the cause of death for the Harrisville man whose body was found lying in the snow in downtown Slippery Rock Wednesday.
Assault has also been ruled out and authorities seek information from anyone who encountered Aaron Loy Cook, 28, in the hours before he died, Trooper Dan Kesten, the public information officer for Butler state police, said Tuesday.
The office of Butler County Coroner William F. Young III has not issued any news releases nor returned several phone messages left by Allied News, but Kesten confirmed police are waiting on toxicology reports to determine if Cook had drugs or alcohol in his system.
Kesten couldn't confirm whether Cook had been drinking before his body was discovered around 8:15 p.m. Feb. 12 in a yard off of Elm and Cooper streets, not far from Ginger Hill Tavern on South Main Street, where he was reportedly last seen around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday. According to Cook's obituary, which has been posted on legacy.com, he was born in Grove City and previously worked at the former Bob's Towing, which is now called Pry's Towing, until 2009, when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Cook belonged to American Legion Post 852, Harrisville, and the Richard E. Craft Post 584 American Legion, Springfield Township.
He leaves behind his wife, Patricia "Trish" Cook, in Harrisville; his sister, Crystal M. Cook, Harrisville; and his grandfather, John Loy Dellich, Slippery Rock.
Cook's family had said he didn't return home Tuesday night and they called acquaintances in Slippery Rock on Wednesday night, and that search party found his body, Kesten said. State police Lt. Eric Helmick said footprints in the snow indicate Cook may have fallen down twice outside the bar, and suggest he was walking alone at the time.
State police can be reached at 724-284-8100.
Published Feb. 19, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.