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Toxicology results determine accidental death

Monday, April 5, 2010

Charles Raymond Chumley Jr.
VIGO COUNTY -- Toxicology test results and cause of death were released Monday in the case of a missing Brazil man whose remains were discovered in a wooded area in rural northeastern Vigo County in March.

Vigo County Coroner Dr. Roland Kohr released information that Charles Raymond Chumley Jr., 30, died as result of a combination of hypothermia and pharmacological intoxication Dec. 9, 2009. The manner of death is officially ruled as accidental.

Chumley was reported missing by his wife Jennifer Chumley Dec. 10, 2009.

Jennifer told authorities her husband left her in a vehicle in the driveway of a family member's home located at 11300 East Davis Avenue, in the Seelyville area, and walked into a nearby wooded area Dec. 8, 2009, around 11:45 p.m. According to Jennifer's statements, she said her husband told her he would return in 15 minutes. However, he didn't.

On Sunday, March 14, his body was discovered approximately one mile from where he was initially reported missing. Chumley was found clothed and partially decomposed, in a wooded area adjacent to 11236 Grotto Ave., approximately 1.8-miles north of United States 40 on the Clay/Vigo county line.

The following day, Kohr performed an autopsy on Chumley and sent dental records out to a state facility to help with the identification process and tissue samples to AIT Laboratories, Indianapolis, to determine a cause of death.

The toxicology results, according to Kohr, showed "measurable amounts" of methamphetamine, marijuana and Xanax in Chumley's system.

However, the positive drug screen is not listed as the primary cause of death.

Hypothermia occurs when the human body (with a normal temperature around 98.6 Fahrenheit) loses heat faster than it can produce it, causing a dangerously low body temperature.

When body temperature drops below 95 F, the heart, nervous system and other organs cannot function properly. Left untreated, hypothermia eventually leads to complete failure of the heart and respiratory system, and ultimately resulting in death.

The Criminal Investigation Division of the Terre Haute Indiana State Police Post has concluded its investigation into Chumley's death.

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Depending on the levels - Meth, Marijuana and Xanax in the system would cause a person (IMO) to be so out of it they wouldn't realize they were freezing to death.

I'm finding it hard to believe the cause of death is considered 'accidental, when the drugs couldn't have gotten into his system from being on the ground.

A tragic, horrible end to a man's life .. and for what? A secret high. How sad. My sympathies to the family of this man.

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Apr 6, 2010, at 11:23 AM

Probably because he was doing them BEFORE he went there. Meth can stay in your system for awhile. Regardless it's very tragic

-- Posted by ape1 on Tue, Apr 6, 2010, at 10:51 PM

Why was it necessary to make the toxicology report public??? If hypothermia is the cause of death and the death is accidental, why was it needed to make the drug use public??? I am sure that his family knew that he had a drug problem, but what I fail to understand is why it needed to become public knowledge. I feel so sad and so sorry that his family has to deal with the gossips and petty little minds that will make it their business to rake him through the coals. I would think privacy is needed in cases like this.

-- Posted by virginiagrace on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 3:40 AM


We live in a world where people "have to know everything" or they will create their own distorted version of the news.

Making the entire report, with all of the details, public helps the family put to rest all the rumors. Yes, the initial reaction for many will be to gossip about the drugs. But with all that information out there to start with, no one can whisper about why the drugs was kept secrete and create even worse "conspiracy rumors" about the cover-up. Maybe the family can take this opportunity to talk with other families about drug addiction, what is does to a family and how to spot a potential drug abuser so no one else has to loose a loved one.

My prayers go out the family during this terrible time, and to the investigators who have helped end their nightmare of not knowing what happened.

-- Posted by Cy on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 2:57 PM

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