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Body discovered in river

| Thursday, July 15, 2004

BETHEL -- The body of a man who had apparently been clamming for zebra mussels off a dock along the Allegheny River at Kelly Station was found by other fishermen at dusk yesterday.

Armstrong County Coroner Robert Bower identified the man as Norman F. McCullough, 48, who had no known address.

McCullough was living out of the back of his car and in a makeshift tent at the river, Bower said.

Several fishermen said they noticed a body floating in the water close to the riverbank and called Armstrong 911.

McCullough was well-known in the area said Bower. Relatives who identified the body told police they suspect McCullough may have fallen in the water and drowned, Bower said.

McCullough had taken off his shoes and left them by his car which was parked against the dock with the trunk open and the radio blasting, state police Tpr. Benjamin Hetrick said in describing the scene. He was wearing swimming trunks and there were open containers of beer on and around the dock and car, he said.

McCullough's sheltie dog was found at the scene.

Hetrick speculated that McCullough either went in swimming or fell into the river.

Police are continuing to investigate.

Bower said the cause of death appears to be fresh water drowning but that he couldn't be certain until he gets a toxicology report.

The manner of death is also pending the results of the toxicology report and police investigation, Bower said. Bower could not give an exact time of death.

There were no apparent signs of foul play, Bower said.

Bethel Township Fire Department responded to the scene.

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