MOUNT PLEASANT TWP. – Autopsies have been conducted related to the apparent murder-suicide at a marijuana grow operation, but authorities have released few details due to the ongoing investigation.
Gaston Gomez, 57, last known address Cape Coral, Fla., died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head Monday while inside the residence at 61 Leonard Road, Wayne County Coroner Edward Howell said. Potential victim Joseph Mastropole, 54, of 61 Leonard Road, was still listed as a missing person as of press time Thursday.
An autopsy also was conducted on the human remains found inside a freezer and in a smoldering burn barrel.
“During the autopsy, DNA samples were collected for comparison to try and determine the identity of the victim or victims and there is no information on the cause or manner of death at this time,” Trooper Mark Keyes, a state police spokesman, said in a statement.
Howell said further testing is needed to identify the remains, determine the cause and manner of death, and to allow the authorities to notify next of kin.
The testing could take several weeks, but when conclusive information is available it will be publicly released, the coroner said.
Meanwhile, the authorities seized 270 marijuana plants from a barn on the property, seven plants from within the residence and about 50 pounds of processed marijuana between the two structures combined, Keyes said.
The marijuana manufacturing operation was dismantled and seized as evidence by the state police Clandestine Lab Response Team and the Troop R Vice-Narcotics Unit.
State Police at Honesdale ask anyone with information on Mastropole's whereabouts to call them at 570-253-7126.