Death ruled a suicide

By Ryan Brown

BEDFORD – A man whose body was found outside a Bedford County Historical Society farm silo last month committed suicide, state police have determined.

While the circumstances surrounding the man’s death remain murky and police have declined to disclose his name, friends from his home state of Michigan identified him as Milo JaJuan Owens, 27, of the Detroit area.

Bedford County Historical Society Executive Director Gillian Leach found the body Jan. 23 as she cleaned the society’s headquarters, a former barn a few yards from the turnpike.

The man had fallen or jumped from a towering silo outside the barn, pulling phone lines down as he fell, Leach said, citing state police investigators.

Police reportedly told Leach the man was wearing political buttons, possibly as a visitor to President Barack Obama’s inauguration two days earlier. He also carried a Greyhound ticket stub bound for the Midwest, Leach said.

He had apparently left his bus – a Greyhound spokesman said a passenger asked to be dropped off that day in Bedford County – and walked to the silo, where he later died in frigid conditions.

“Live from DC,” said Owens’ last update, dated Jan. 20, on Facebook.

He left Washington three days later but never returned home. On a website that allows donors to raise money for causes, a page titled “In Honor of Milo Owens” had sought money for his body to be returned to Michigan for a funeral.

Obituaries list Owens’ funeral on Feb. 3 in Detroit.

State police spokesman Trooper Jeff Petucci confirmed Monday that the investigation into the man’s death was finished, with a ruling that he committed suicide.

Bedford County Coroner Sam Gordon was not available to comment on the specific cause of death.

Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.