Sailor death in Gallipolis ruled accidental

August 13, 2013

GALLIPOLIS — The results of an autopsy performed on an active duty sailor who was found dead in a Gallipolis apartment this past May were released on Monday by the Gallipolis Police Department and indicate that the young Navy man’s death was “accidental” — a result of a fatal mixture of prescription drugs and alcohol.

According to Captain Jeff Boyer of the Gallipolis Police Department, the autopsy results confirm that Steven A. Perry died as a result of acute ethanol (alcohol) and buprenorphine (Suboxone) intoxication, and not as a result of a widely-talked-about altercation that occurred that night before Perry’s death.

As previously reported, the body of Perry, 22, Mason County, W.Va., was found by authorities at approximately 12 p.m. on Sunday, May 26 in an apartment located at 151 Upper River Road in Gallipolis. First responders were dispatched the scene in reference to a male subject who was unresponsive and had no pulse — an individual who was subsequently identified as Perry.

Gallia County Coroner Dr. Daniel Whiteley later responded to the scene, and, after confirming that Perry had not died of natural causes, Dr. Whiteley ordered his body sent to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.

Following the discovery of the body, rumors circulated locally about the possibility of an altercation involving Perry on the night prior to the discovery of the body; however, a release quickly issued by the police department stifled the rumors and revealed that there was only one confirmed suspect involved in the alleged assault and not multiple suspects as widely discussed in the public sphere.

The investigation into Perry’s death remained open until the release of the autopsy results last week that confirmed the death of the sailor as “accidental,” and, as a result, Boyer further reported that the police department will not be pursuing any charges in this case. Throughout the investigation, the name of the “person of interest” in this case was never released by the police department.

At the time of his death, Perry, who was an active duty sailor with the U.S. Navy, had reportedly returned home on temporary leave for a short period after an eight-month deployment in the Persian Gulf. He was reportedly scheduled to return to service within a few weeks of his untimely death.