Missing Lower Burrell man found dead
A Lower Burrell man who had been missing since Oct. 3 was found dead on Sunday, his parents confirmed.
The body of Clinton J. Weleski, 37, of Chicago Avenue, was found off Merwin Road by a concerned group of family and friends who got together to search for him, his parents said.
Deputy Westmoreland County Coroner Joshua C. Zappone released a statement saying that “no trauma or foul play is suspected.”
He said the cause and manner of Weleski’s death is pending an autopsy and toxicology results.
Jennifer Rusz, a longtime friend of Weleski’s, organized the search party. She said he was fired from his job at Polyconcept in Upper Burrell the day he went missing.
Rusz and Weleski’s family said Weleski had been fired because he allegedly was under the influence of drugs while at work.
“They escorted him out of work, and he called his parents and told them that he got laid off,” Rusz said before the search began at noon. “That’s pretty much the last anyone’s heard of him.”
Weleski’s parents, Alan and Rosemarie Weleski, live in Midland, Mich. They found out about their son while at church Sunday morning.
Rosemarie Weleski said her son struggled with drug addiction and had lost his wife to lymphoma in 2009.
“He has gone from job to job and he’s done well, and then he relapsed,” she said. “The last we knew about him, and we kept in contact, he always told us he was clean and he’s doing good. … He was trying to clean up his life so he could be here with us in Michigan.”
Rusz said someone saw Weleski walking westbound on Route 780 between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.. It was the last time anyone had seen him, Rusz said.
Searchers concentrated along Route 780, Myers Drive and Merwin Road, which is where his cellphone last pinged.
Rusz said she reported Weleski missing to Lower Burrell police on Wednesday because no one had heard from him. Lower Burrell police said earlier that the fact Weleski hadn’t contacted friends or family since Oct. 3 was unusual.
The incident is being investigated by detectives with the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office. Attempts to reach them for comment weren’t immediately successful Sunday.
Rosemarie Weleski thanked everybody who helped with the search. She hopes her son’s story encourages other people to stay away from drugs.