Editor's note: This article has been updated to include information from an interview with Sheriff Kevin Bond.
The Pettis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a suspicious death after a man was found unresponsive Tuesday night in Green Ridge.
According to a news release, deputies responded to an assault in progress in the 200 block of East Henry Street in Green Ridge just after 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Upon arrival, several subjects were found outside the residence, including an unresponsive man later identified as James Andrew Gill, 32, of Pilot Grove.
Deputies performed CPR and deployed an AED on Gill until Pettis County Ambulance District personnel arrived.
“The call came in that someone had been assaulted and so we were responding on a physical disturbance or an assault in progress,” Sheriff Kevin Bond told the Democrat Wednesday morning. “We responded emergency to the scene and then when we arrived on scene there were several people that were outside, one of which was unresponsive.”
The release states a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper also assisted deputies.
According to Bond, the investigation is considered a suspicious death investigation and not a homicide. He said Gill’s injuries were not self-inflicted, but detectives are still determining if his death was intentional or accidental.
“We have not ruled it as a homicide. It may be a couple of days before we reach that determination,” he explained. “Part of that, we’re going to have to see what the autopsy results show. Obviously, that points to the fact that it was not clearly evident at the scene what the cause of death is.”
Sheriff’s office detectives conducted an investigation throughout the night and interviewed several people. The body was released to the Pettis County Coroner’s Office and a forensic autopsy has been scheduled with the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death. The investigation is continuing Wednesday morning.
“We’re interviewing people, we’re processing evidence. We collected evidence at the scene last night,” Bond said. “We’re in the process of going through those items and then obviously following up. We’re looking at electronic evidence, different things. Last night was kind of the down and dirty where we had to do a lot of collection and do an investigation at the scene and get that taken care of.
“We were fighting against darkness and it was after dark by the time we got finished at the scene. Then we interviewed several people last night and then once we got that done, statements taken and that kind of a thing, then we broke and now we’re regrouping and following up again now.”
Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office at 660-827-0052, call Pettis County Crime Stoppers at 660-827-TIPS, or submit a tip on Nixle at local.nixle.com/tip/pettis-county-sheriffs-office.