HONESDALE - A Waymart man's death has been ruled a homicide, Wayne County Coroner Edward Howell said.
Ryan S. Clemo, 31, died from asphyxia due to the combined effects of compression and blunt trauma to the neck, the coroner said in a release Tuesday, adding that alcohol intoxication was a contributing factor.
Clemo was pronounced dead March 29 at Wayne Memorial Hospital.
The ruling came after results of toxicology and pathology tests, Howell said.
Clemo died after an incident at a residence on Rose Hill Drive in Dyberry Township.
The investigation officer, Trooper Wayne G. Thomas of the Honesdale barracks, said Wednesday he could not comment other than to say the investigation is continuing and no charges have been filed.
District Attorney Janine Edwards echoed Thomas, saying she couldn't comment other than to say the investigation is ongoing.
The trooper also declined to identify as suspects two men named in a search warrant.
An autopsy determined Clemo suffered various injuries including petechial hemorrhage, an indication of strangulation. Other injuries included a broken neck bone.
Police have questioned Adam Dixon, 22, and Jonathan Yacinovich, age not listed, both of the Waymart area.
Thomas noted in a search warrant that he sought photographs of Clemo's body including those that depicted "scratches, bruises or marks of any kind relating to a fight, struggle or restraining incident" in Clemo's death. The warrant also sought clothing from Dixon and his mobile phone.
According to court papers:
An examination of Clemo's body revealed a laceration to his right wrist, three scratches to his right forearm, scrapes and cuts on the left hand, a cut behind the left ear and indications of petechial hemorrhaging on the eye lids.
Clemo and his girlfriend, Sara Kellerman, had been drinking in Kellerman's basement with Dixon and Yacinovich.
Clemo became upset when a song came on that was played at his grandmother's funeral.
He threw bottles, hitting Kellerman in the leg and causing a laceration.
Kellerman went to her car and was followed by Clemo, who broke her windshield, Dixon told police.
Clemo also punched Dixon and Yacinovich.
Dixon told police Clemo walked back toward the house and fell and hit his head. Inside, Clemo fell down the basement stairway, landing on his face.
Dixon and Yacinovich said Clemo was angry and they tried to get him under control by wrapping electrical cord around his ankles and "restraining his chest."
Dixon told police he had his arm around Clemo's neck but Clemo broke free.
The affidavit says that after Clemo had apparently calmed down, Kellerman's mother, Joanne, "noticed (Clemo) was in a praying position on his knees with his butt in the air. His elbows were on the floor with his head on his hands tilted to one side. Joanne stated that she noticed (Clemo's) face was turning purple."
Dixon and Yacinovich checked Clemo, noticing he had a pulse but his breathing was shallow. They kept checking on him until they noticed he did not have a pulse when 911 was called.
Joanne Kellerman called 911 and the operator talked them through CPR.