U.S. and Ohio flags throughout the state will fly at half-staff today in honor of late 10-term U.S. Congressman Paul Gillmor, R-Tiffin, who was found dead Wednesday morning.
Gillmor's chief of staff and communications director found him lying dead at about 11:10 a.m. Wednesday in the foyer of his Arlington, Va., townhouse. He was 68 years old.
Gillmor had a long career on Capitol Hill, serving Ohio's 5th Congressional District since 1989. His district includes Huron, Seneca, Wood and Sandusky counties and, until district lines were redrawn after the 1990 census, it included part of Erie County.
Prior to that he served in Ohio's State Senate for 22 years.
Gillmor's staff said the congressman flew back to Washington Tuesday after visiting flooded communities in northwest Ohio. He was last seen at 7:59 p.m. Tuesday, leaving Capitol Hill after voting on several issues throughout the day.
Arlington, Va., police investigating his death ruled out the likelihood of foul play, saying the congressman likely died of natural causes, according to Gillmor's communication director, Bradley Mascho.
"Generally he votes, comes home, will have dinner at his townhouse, and come in the next morning for meetings," Mascho said. "It was when he didn't come into his meetings at 9:30 a.m. that we started to think something might be wrong."
Mascho and Chief of Staff Mark Wellman called police at 11:12 a.m. when they found Gillmor dressed in loungewear, lying dead in his foyer.
The local coroner said it may take a few days to establish a cause of death.
"He was a fairly healthy guy," Mascho said. "As far as any actual health problems, I don't know of any, other than being 68 and having what 68-year-olds have. Your body starts to creak a little bit."