March 13, 2003
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Urbana man found dead in Glen Helen

A hiker passing through Glen Helen last week found a dead body hanging from a tree near the Yellow Spring parking lot off State Route 343.

Miami Township Fire-Rescue arrived at the scene a little after 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 5, and pronounced Jonathan Preston, a 21-year-old Urbana resident, dead.

The Greene County coroner’s office has not yet ruled on the official cause of death, but all signs point toward suicide, the coroner’s chief investigator, Claude Lyons, said Monday. It could take as long as a month to make an official ruling, he said.

With the investigation pending, details of the case were very sparse. Lyons would only disclose that Preston was last seen in Enon on Tuesday, March 4.

Residential campers at the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center were in the Glen all day Wednesday, said Bob Whyte, director of the Glen Helen Ecology Institute. Though Glen officials weren’t notified of the suicide until around 11 a.m. that morning, none of the youth came across the body.

Whyte indicated more immediate notification could have helped the Glen ensure no children were exposed to the incident.

—Lauren Heaton