By ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
---- — PERU — State Police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found Saturday near railroad tracks in Peru.
Charles W. Hill, 39, of Chazy, was found dead around noon in a marshy area beside the Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks about three quarters of a mile south of Bear Swamp Road, according to New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Lt. Scott Heggelke.
A man walking along the tracks spotted Hill’s body floating in about 3 feet of water on the west side of the tracks and called police, Heggelke said.
State troopers, along with divers, responded to the scene and removed the body from the water.
Clinton County Coroner David Donah was also called to the scene and transported Hill’s body to CVPH Medical Center, where an autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
Heggelke said Hill was reported missing by his girlfriend, Tammy Brown, on Oct. 19, and there has been an active investigation into his disappearance since. Hill was a self-employed contractor and handyman.
Before he went missing, Hill had been living with Brown on Route 9 in Chazy.
Initial findings at the scene where Hill’s body was found are consistent with an accidental death, Heggelke said. However, the cause and manner of death have not yet been determined, he said.
Police will look to the autopsy report to determine whether Hill might have suffered injuries consistent with a number of different scenarios, including being hit by a train or jumping out of the way of a train, he said.
However, Heggelke noted, Hill’s body had been under water for some time, so without autopsy results it is difficult to say how he might have died.
“We don’t suspect foul play, but we’re waiting for the autopsy report to find out,” he said.
Police are investigating what Hill might have been doing near the train tracks in Peru. But at this time they have no idea what brought him there or for exactly how long his body was under water.
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