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Coroner suspects man was killed, then driven to Columbia Station driveway


COLUMBIA STATION — The man whose body was found Saturday facedown in a van near the Lorain and Medina county border had several cuts and bruises on his head, neck, chest and arms, the county coroner said Monday.

Dr. Stephen Evans said Wayne Soos’ death was suspicious because Soos’ van was in a location where it didn’t belong, parked in a driveway on state Route 252, in the first driveway in Lorain County before the Medina County line.

“I think he died somewhere else, and someone drove the van there,” Evans said.

The 50-year-old’s body was found lying facedown in the back of his white van, but there were no gunshot wounds or stab wounds on the body, he said.

A cause of death has not yet been determined, Evans said.

“Hopefully within the next few days we should know more,” he added. “Once we look at the autopsy, we’ll have a better idea of which of these are significant and which are minor scrapes.”

He was found fully dressed in a shirt and jeans, Evans said.

Sheriff’s deputies have labeled the death a possible homicide and are investigating it as such. No additional information on their investigation was released Monday.

According to the 911 call reporting the incident, a neighbor said there had been a van parked on a driveway next door to her house since about 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The call came in at 3:17 p.m. Saturday.

“Some gentlemen came over and told me there’s a guy inside that looks like he’s not moving,” she said.

The men who told her about the van owned the property, she added.

The property where the van was found does not have a house or address, but has a large turnaround, the caller said.

Jim Warger had rented a room to Soos on South Boone Road in Columbia Station and said he has known him for about five and half years. Soos worked for Warger on antique and custom car shows, Warger said.

He said Soos grew up in Olmsted Falls.

Warger said he last saw Soos on Friday morning. He recalled noticing Saturday morning that Soos hadn’t come home.

“He usually made it home every night,” Warger said.

Warger said Soos had no children but had been married and divorced before they met. He is survived by several brothers and a sister, Warger said.

“He didn’t look for trouble, but he was just ornery and cantankerous,” Warger said. “He wasn’t a bad person.”

According to Elyria Municipal Court records, Soos had charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, obstructing official business and failing to stop after an accident going through the court system at the time of his death.

He also had three previous convictions for drunken driving over the years since 1993, and one first degree misdemeanor theft in 2006, according to court records.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at 329-7123 or

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