by justin strawser (staff writer email@example.com)
Published: February 5, 2011 / http://republicanherald.com
BLOOMSBURG – The death of a suspended state trooper whose body was found Wednesday in the Roaring Creek Tract of Weiser State Forest after he had been missing for five days is considered accidental at this point, according to police.
Sgt. Mark Fulton, commander at the state police station in Bloomsburg, said Friday that’s not a final ruling and could change “if new information arises.”
Meanwhile, the autopsy for David Alan Lynch, 34, a 1996 graduate of Mahanoy Area High School, was conducted Friday, but the results of associated toxicology tests will take up to three months, said Columbia County Chief Deputy Coroner Linda Kess-ler. In the meantime, it is considered a pending investigation, she said Friday.
Troopers from the Bloomsburg station assisted in the search for Lynch on Tuesday and Wednesday near the Northumberland-Columbia County border, and took over the investigation because Lynch’s body was found in Columbia County, Fulton said.
“There will be follow-up investigations but we have to wait for the results (of the autopsy). We’re going to continue taking care of business,” he said.
Trooper Andrew Petros is the lead investigator, Fulton said.
Lynch, who was assigned to the Frackville station upon graduation from the State Police Academy in 2005, had no ties to the Bloomsburg station and no troopers there knew him, Fulton said.
Nonetheless, the fact that he was a trooper is not lost on those involved.
“Deep down, knowing it’s a fellow brother, it weighs on your mind,” Fulton said. “But it doesn’t affect the investigation.”
Lynch, whom police said was 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 330 pounds, earned a Division I football scholarship while at Mahanoy Area and then played at Duke University, where he graduated with a degree in history. He enlisted in the Pennsylvania State Police on Dec. 12, 2005, and graduated from the state police academy in Hershey on June 16, 2006.
He was assigned to the Frackville station, working close to his hometown of Barnesville. Lynch worked out of that station until July 7, 2009, when he was suspended without pay pending resolution of the criminal cases.