A report from the State Medical Examiner’s office indicates the death of an Iowa State University student from Grinnell was accidental. The report state Jon Lacina died from probably hypothermia with sharp force injuries. Lacina was found dead in an abandoned building on the old I.S.U. dairy farm.
I.S.U. Department of Public Safety director, Jerry Stewart, says the evidence indicates Lacina fell down a flight of steps leading to a boiler room and cut his hands on window panes in the door. Although the cuts were non-lethal, Jon’s father, Tom released a statement taht it is likely Jon drifted into unconsciousness in the cold, humid weather, and died from hypothermia.
The report from the medical examiner states there was no evidence of foul play, weapon-related injuries, or blunt force trauma. The medical examiner’s findings are consistent with police investigations. Investigators say that the length of time from when Lacina was reported missing to the time of the discovery of his body required the M.E. to consult with multiple forensic experts in order to substantiate facts and to assist in arriving at a final cause and manner of death.
The 21-year-old Lacina was last seen leaving a small social gathering at 9:30 P.M. on January 22nd, and was found dead April 14th. There is no indication as to why Lacina was at the building, which is in the opposite direction of his apartment. Lacina was a senior majoring in graphic design.
A memorial fund has been established. Donations can be made to the Jon Lacina Arts Fund at the Grinnell Area Arts Council, P.O. Box 657, Grinnell, Iowa 50112
By Chris Johnson, KGRN, Grinnell