PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — A man once missing for several months in 2012 has been found dead on the Walmart parking lot. After meeting with family member, hours after the body was found, the New Boston Police Department identified it as that of James C. Laack, 38, of Portsmouth.
Captain Steve Goins of the New Boston Police Department said around 3:10 a.m. Thursday, NBPD dispatch received a call of a male who had been found on the ground at the Walmart parking lot. The report said a Walmart employee who had come out to collect shopping carts found the body, and officers responded to the scene along with personnel from Portsmouth Ambulance.
The man was declared dead at the time and Scioto County Coroner Dr. Darren Adams responded to the scene. The body was released to be taken to the Montgomery County, Ohio Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.
Goins said the NBPD does not suspect foul play or homicide at this time.
“We believe the death might be alcohol-related, and unknown if any drugs are involved too,” Goins said in a news release. “The autopsy should help to determine the exact cause of death.”
Goins said Laack’s vehicle was found on the parking lot and that there were indications that heavy liquor and beer consumption had probably been taking place as empty cans and bottles were found in the vehicle.
Goins said the NBPD has surveillance footage of Laack which he says shows him getting out of his car several times until he falls down again and does not get back up. Goins said there are no other persons in that area around him, nor other vehicular traffic in the vicinity.
In addition, Goins said there are indications Laack could have been living in his vehicle for some period of time.
Laack made the news several times in 2012 when a friend reported he had been missing since Sept. 24, 2012. In November of 2012, Laack was found alive after living off sourgrass in a wooded area of Scherer’s Hollow Road.
Scioto County Sheriff’s Captain David Hall said, at the time, Laack had been staying in and abandoned house in the same area where his car had been found and where he had been spotted there week before on a surveillance camera. A deer camera picked up his picture as he cut a piece off a salt lick, letting authorities know he was still alive.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT