MOUNT VERNON — The body found July 13, in a septic tank on Newcastle Road has been positively identified as Raymond Staats of Canton.
According to Knox County Coroner Dr. Jennifer Ogle, Staats was asphyxiated with a plastic bag that was secured over his head and shot several times in the chest and torso. The autopsy also revealed Staats suffered an injury to his spinal cord.
There was severe decomposition to his body, Ogle said.
Comparison of dental records aided in the identification of Staats.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Jeff Lee performed the autopsy.
Staats was reported missing Jan. 9, 2009, from Canton, by a lifelong friend who last saw him leaving Canton for Mount Vernon in a blue Durango.
A call was placed to Knox County Sheriff David Barber seeking comment as to what happens next in the case. Barber then referred the News to speak with Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher who was unavailable for comment this morning.
According to the Canton Repository, a candlelight vigil will be held in memory of Staats on Saturday.