MARLBORO TWP. — Township police continue to investigate the death of a young man found dead in a pond after a party involving drugs and alcohol.
An autopsy has been scheduled for 18-year-old Aidan Jewell.
Police Chief Ron Devies said the death remained under investigation and charges could be pending; no one has been criminally charged as of Wednesday.
Alliance Prosecutor Jennifer Arnold said the results of the investigation have not been turned over to her office.
She said it’s too early to say whether the property owners, or parents of the students who held the party, could be held accountable.
“It would be unfair to comment prematurely,” Arnold said. “I don’t want to judge them unfairly before I know the facts of the case. I’m going to wait to hear the details. I charge based on facts, not rumor.”
When asked whether parents whose underage children hold parties where alcohol is served potentially face charges, Arnold said parents who provide alcohol to youth under 18 or permit alcohol to be served to underage persons on their property can face charges.
“The general question? Yeah, if the question is if parents furnish the location (for a party) knowing there’s going to be underage drinking, it’s possible,” she said. If parents provide alcohol, she said, they “absolutely” can face criminal charges.
Authorities believe Jewell was at a party with underage drinking and drug use, but they have not released information even preliminarily as to what they believe caused his death.
Harry Campbell, chief investigator for the Stark County Coroner’s Office, said Wednesday morning Jewell’s autopsy has been scheduled for the next day or so.
The Marlington High School senior reportedly was last seen alive about 2 a.m. Sunday, leaving a party in a barn in the 7700 block of Pontius Street NW.
The owners of the property where the party was held could not be reached for comment.
Dozens of first responders, residents, FBI agents, dive teams and professional search organizations used drones and other special equipment to scour the area. Shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, a dive team found Jewell’s body in a neighbor’s pond about 200 yards from the barn. Campbell said the young man’s body was found in about 3 or 4 feet of water and about 40 to 50 yards from the pond’s bank.
Eugene Dieffenbaugher, Jewell’s father, said his son went to the party with classmates. Dieffenbaugher blamed his son’s death on the classmates who left Jewell at the party.
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