Advances in DNA technology have led authorities to say a 22-year-old Cleveland country music fan who dove to his death at a concert in 2014 was the victim of an act criminal.
Cory Barron is believed to have died after falling into a garbage chute inside a laundry room at Cleveland’s Major League Baseball park, Progressive Field, while attending a Jason Aldean concert with his family in July 2014. was deemed inconclusive at the time, Cleveland.com reported.
Officials now say Barron was involved in ‘an altercation’ before his death, the Associated Press reported.
On Monday, the Lorain County Coroner’s Office announced that Barron’s manner of death had been changed from undetermined to homicide. Cleveland police added that the investigation into Barron’s death is ongoing.
“In light of the additional information, his death was due to the actions or inactions of another person or persons,” the coroner’s office said in a statement, Cleveland television station WKYC reported. “Cory Barron’s manner of death has been changed from undetermined to homicide.”
Police did not say if they were looking for specific persons of interest or if more than one person may have been involved in Barron’s death. No arrests were made.
“There are people we want to talk to, and we are working on taking steps to try to talk to them,” said Cleveland Police Homicide Investigator Sgt. said Aaron Reese.
In July 2014, Barron disappeared in the middle of a country music concert at Progressive Field; his body was found four days later in a landfill. Authorities eventually assumed that Barron had fallen five stories to his death in a garbage chute, located in a laundry room at the Cleveland baseball stadium. His death would have been instantaneous.
He suffered multiple blunt force injuries to his head, torso and extremities as a result of the fall, officials said. However, it is unclear whether Barron was intoxicated, as any blood alcohol level would not have been accurate due to his body’s decomposed state. Law enforcement said the drugs were not linked to his death.
“I’m less than happy,” Lorain County Coroner Dr. Steven Evans said at the time of the initial autopsy report, according to WKYC. “We will never know the circumstances in which he ended up in the garbage chute. I would like to have this for the family.”
His family sued the baseball team, alleging the park and its vendors failed to secure the laundry room in which the chute was located or to post signs warning of the fall, Cleveland.com reported. Both parties settled out of court.
Barron’s family eventually hired private investigators to investigate the 22-year-old’s death. They found new DNA evidence, which ultimately led to Barron’s mode of death being reversed.
“We looked at the investigative work that was done by the private investigators and then kind of built on that and did more interviews and submitted other scientific items to test for DNA,” said Sgt. Reese added, according to WKYC. “And there’s still more we seek to do.”
Investigators said that, based on additional eyewitness interviews, they recently concluded that “some type of incident” or altercation occurred between Barron and a person or group of people. unknown before death. Homicide detectives, who suspect there are more eyewitnesses who have yet to come forward, have urged the public to contact authorities if they know anything about Barron’s death.
“Just based on eyewitnesses – the people we interviewed, we know there was some type of incident,” said Sgt. Reese also said. “I would expect there to be multiple witnesses available based on what other people have told us.”
Authorities have not released any additional information. The case remains open and active.
“They deserve justice, Cory deserves justice,” Reese said, referring to Barron’s family. “They didn’t give up the fight.”
Oxygene.com contacted the Lorain County Coroner’s Office and the Cleveland Police Department for more information.
Anyone with additional information about Barron’s death is urged to contact Cleveland Police Homicide Investigators at 216-623-5464.