Death investigation in Columbia

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The Columbia Police Department has opened a death investigation after a 32-year-old man was found deceased inside his rental home in the 500 block of Kremmel Street about 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Due to the man’s young age, an Illinois State Police crime scene unit is assisting Columbia police and the Monroe County coroner’s office with the investigation.

“There were no indications of foul play, but an autopsy is planned to determine the precise cause of death,” Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul issued in a statement on Friday.

The man, later identified as Jason M. Yaekel, was discovered on the floor by his girlfriend, who had just arrived at the home. She immediately called 911. When officers arrived, the man was found lying on the floor, unresponsive with no vital signs.

 A member of the Monroe County coroner’s office responded and pronounced Yaekel dead a short time later.

Monroe County Coroner Vicki Koerber said the manner of death in this case is pending toxicology and other reports.

Yaekel worked at Archview Metal Systems in Columbia and was a member of AFL-CIO Sheet Metal Workers Local #268 in Caseyville.

Visitation is set for 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Lawlor Funeral Home in Columbia, with a funeral service immediately following. For the full obituary, click here.

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