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Death of James Whitman Ruled Accidental

Saturday, June 19, 2021 @ 12:06 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

JW 13CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The death of a Clarion University student whose body was found in Highland Township earlier this year has been ruled accidental.

On February 21, 21-year-old James Whitman, of Riverview, Florida, was found deceased approximately 100 feet above the Toby Creek Bridge on Bigley Road, in Highland Township, Clarion County.

According to Clarion County Coroner Dan Shingledecker, Whitman’s death has been ruled accidental following the full autopsy report.

Clarion-based State Police say the investigation into Whitman’s death has been closed.

A representative of PSP Clarion told, “Out of respect for the family, specific details are not being released.”

Whitman was initially reported missing around 1:14 p.m., on February 20, after he failed to return to his residence in Clarion on Friday night.

The investigation later led authorities to the area of Miola Road and McCleary Road, in Highland Township, Clarion County, where troopers and members of Clarion Fire & Hose Company No. 1 searched a wooded area near Toby Creek.


In a bizarre turn of events, the search party discovered a crashed vehicle and the deceased bodies of Samuel Paine, 78, and Lucille Paine, 81, both of Strattanville, near Bigley Road and Toby Creek Bridge.

Whitman’s body was discovered nearby.

The death of Whitman and the deaths of the Strattanville couple are completely unrelated, according to investigators.

Investigators believe the vehicle where the Paine couple were located had crashed around noon on Wednesday, February 17, according to Shingledecker.

Autopsies were performed on Samuel and Lucille Paine on February 22, and the cause of death for both individuals was determined to be hypothermia.


State Police Confirm Strattanville Couple Died of Hypothermia

Investigators Mum on James Whitman Death Investigation

Memorial Service Held for James Whitman

Remembering James Whitman; Clarion University Mourns Death of Friend, Student

Coroner Releases Preliminary Cause of Death for Strattanville Couple

Autopsies Set for Monday for Deceased CU Student, Fatal Crash Victims

Bodies of Fatal Crash Victims, Missing Clarion U. Student Found Near Bigley Road

Clarion County Coroner Called to Scene of Missing Person Investigation

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