STEUBENVILLE - The 51-year-old man found dead Monday at the former RG Steel Steubenville plant died from cardiac arrest secondary from electrocution.
Jefferson County Coroner Dr. Michael Scarpone issued his cause of death ruling Monday night after examining Joseph C. Marshall's body.
Steubenville Police said they believe Marshall of 612 Ross St. climbed a power line tower just south of a small electrical substation sometime during the weekend and was killed while trying to steal copper electrical lines.
Acting Police Chief Joel Walker said Marshall fell approximately 30 feet to the ground from the electrical tower.
The former mill site is owned by Strauss Industries of Wheeling.
Walker said a Strauss Industries employee discovered Marshall's body and called the police department at 9:45 a.m. Monday.
"We believe the deceased was on an electrical tower and either died from the electrical shock when he cut into the live wire or died from the fall to the ground.
He was still holding a hacksaw in his hand when he was found on the ground," Walker said during a Monday morning press briefing.
Police Capt. John Young said Marshall may have entered the mill along a path from state Route 7 Saturday night.
"We found several paths coming from the highway, down the hill and onto the mill property. A Strauss employee said they lost power between 11:30 p.m. and midnight Saturday. At this point we are not sure if that incident is connected to Mr. Marshall's death," noted Young.
Marshall was arrested by Steubenville police on March 6 and charged with attempting to steal copper wire from the former steel mill property.
Walker said Marshall was given a "no contact order" and told to stay away from the Strauss Industries property for one year.
"Strauss Industries is fully cooperating with our department as we continue our investigation into this death. I sincerely hope this incident will serve as a warning to those few people who believe they can steal copper pipe and wire without consequences," continued Walker.
Law enforcement agencies have reported several cases of people trespassing on the mill property.
"We have been fearful of a fatality like this. We found several paths leading down the hillside and into the mill from the highway. We never want to see anyone killed in this manner and hope others will learn from this tragedy," stated Walker.
Marshall's family was notified of his death early Monday afternoon.
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