Elderly man found in Grafton died from exposure

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GRAFTON — An elderly New York man whose body was found earlier this week in his car in a field in Grafton apparently died from exposure.

The preliminary death certificate issued by the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner's office stated that Anthony Spinelli, 83, of Salem, N.Y., died as a result of "hypothermia due to environmental exposure."

The death certificate said that contributing factors were heart disease and use of alcohol. It stated that he died within hours of the accident.

The certificate stated Spinelli had died on Jan 15; his car wasn't discovered until five days later on Monday, Jan. 20.

Spinelli, a retired truck driver and Korean War veteran, was not married, police said, and did not suffer from dementia.

"Driver stayed in stranded car after collision with tree," the certificate said, explaining the cause of his death, which was ruled accidental.

Spinelli's 2002 black Honda was discovered by a man pruning apples trees at the home off Middletown Road. The car was snow-covered, according to Vermont State Police.

Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Thomas McCoy said that Spinelli had been in the Manchester area visiting friends before the accident.

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