Identity of victim who fell from tree in Morgantown released

Published: Oct. 23, 2018 at 9:52 AM EDT
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According to the Morgantown Police Department, the victim was identified as 38-year-old Aaron Riel of Morgantown. His family has been contacted.


Morgantown Police said a man died after they found him in "a state of psychiatric distress" near the Monongalia County Board of Education Building early Tuesday morning.

Police responded to a report of someone screaming near the building just after 5:33 a.m. Officers said they found him climbing trees in the area and screaming.

Police said the man then went to a wooded area near Prairie Avenue when he eventually climbed more than 50 feet up a tree. Officers tried to talk him down from the tree, according to a press release, but the man fell when he tried to jump from one tree to another.

Police said he died on the scene. They have not identified him yet but believe he was in his late 30s or early 40s.

The events were not connected with the Board of Education or Morgantown High School, officials said. They added that the person never entered the buildings.