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Body found near Hardin identified

By Sara Seidel, Staff Writer

Prison tattoos enabled local officials to determine the identity of a body found between a pair of rail tracks Sunday morning near Hardin.

Ray County Coroner Bart Willim identified the accident victim as Ryan Benjamin Aldridge, 29, a recent parolee from the Illinois prison system.

Willim returned to the scene to confirm details of the initial investigation.

“It looks to me as if he fell off the train,” Willim said.

Willim added, however, that it appears unlikely Aldridge was actually struck by a train. Instead, he probably hit the rail ties when he fell from a railcar.

“He was probably holding on” somehow, Willim said, adding that boxcars are secure and difficult to enter.

Aldridge’s skull was fractured, and the cause of death was ruled blunt force trauma to the head, Willim said. Had he been hit by a train, Aldridge’s injuries would have been even more severe, the coroner said.

The complete story is in the Friday, March 10, 2017 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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