Coroner identifies man found dead near Middletown airport, park

City official: No foul play suspected.

A man found dead near the Middletown Regional Airport and Smith Park has been identified by the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

Kenton A. Ricke, 60, of Middletown, was found dead Friday afternoon, according to the coroner’s office. His cause and manner of death were listed as pending.

On Friday, while two workers were walking the fence line at Magellan Aerospace, 2320 Wedekind Drive, they discovered a man who was deceased, according to the Middletown Division of Police report. Police found a syringe and a bicycle near the body.

The workers were inspecting the fence to see if there were any holes because homeless people were seen on the company’s property, according to the report.

No foul play is suspected, according to a city official.

Magellan Aerospace is located near the Middletown Regional Airport and Smith Park. The company has been cleaning out some of its property, a city official said.

Bill Fugate, volunteer coordinator of Serving Homeless Alternate Lodging Of Middletown (SHALOM) said Ricke stayed at the church-based homeless organization “off and on” over the years. He said Ricke struggled with drug addiction, what Fugate called “a terrible thing.”

“I was afraid this day would come and it did,” Fugate said.

Ricke was the second man found dead in the city this month.

Clifford Phillips, 62, who was reported missing in November, was found dead Jan. 1 in Gardner Park. His death was ruled accidental with hypothermia listed as the cause, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

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