CARROLLTON (WJER) - As the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 14-year-old boy, the county coroner is answering questions about how investigators reach conclusions in these types of cases. 

Dr. Mandal B. Haas ruled the death of 14-year-old Jonathan Minard a homicide caused by acute fentanyl intoxication. However, he says the definition of a homicide differs between forensic science and law enforcement. He says in forensics, homicide means a death is caused by the actions or omissions of another individual.

“So I guess probably the easiest way to put it would be that all murders and manslaughters are homicides but not all homicides are murder, manslaughter or any of the legal homicide charges,” he explains.    

Haas issued his report on the cause and manner of death July 8th, more than two months after the investigation began. He says a complete autopsy involves a variety of complex tasks, including sophisticated toxicology testing and analysis of microscopic evidence.

“It takes weeks, sometimes months, to get results, and it’s not like what you see on TV where the crime is committed, the autopsy is done, and the police are ready to move within the next day or two,” he says. “To my knowledge, that just isn’t how it works in the real world.”

Carroll County Sheriff Dale Williams earlier this week said the coroner’s determinations do not conclude a criminal investigation. He said they are still working with the FBI and Ohio BCI on the case.


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