PDT Staff Writer
The father of a man who had been missing for over a month, has been found dead, and authorities are calling his death “suspicious.” Richard Laack, 56, of Portsmouth, died Friday, three days after his son James Laack, 35, was located following a search that began on Sept. 24.
“He was found outside,” Scioto County Sheriff’s Captain David Hall said. “We don’t know if he went outside to use the rest room, and fell over something, and had a seizure, or what.”
Hall said longtime family friend Matt Humble found Laack and called the Sheriff’s Office.
“He laid out there all night and was unresponsive,” Hall said.
Monday morning, Scioto County Coroner Dr. Darren Adams said Richard Laack died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., and that Laack’s body was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.
James Laack had been reported missing when he left his workplace on Sept. 24, and did not return. Authorities searched a wooded area of Scherer’s Hollow Road in Portsmouth with deputies, search dogs, and a helicopter from the Ohio State Highway Patrol after his abandoned vehicle was found on private property.
Then, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, someone on Mabert Road noticed Laack walking down the street and told him his friend Matt Humble was looking for him. He waited as Humble was contacted and responded to the scene to pick him up. At the same time, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted and responded to the scene. It was believed at that time, James Laack was going to return to his father’s home.
Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said Monday he did not know when a complete autopsy would be available. He again mentioned that toxicology reports take six to eight weeks, or even longer.
Funeral arrangements are pending at the Wolfe-Nelson Funeral Home in Sciotoville.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org