Sheriff: Motorcycle crash victim died from gunshot wound

OBERLIN — A 53-year-old Oberlin man found dead on the side of the road Friday in what investigators originally believed was a motorcycle crash died from a gunshot wound to the head, authorities said.

The victim was identified as Christopher Hebert, 53, of Oberlin.

Sheriff Doug Hebert III said Hebert suffered a gunshot wound and was found lying in a ditch Friday near a Kawasaki motorcycle on Nursery Road, just south of Oberlin. The motorcycle was not damaged.

“Our office received a 911 call at 2:05 p.m. Friday that a motorcycle was laying on its side and there was a person in the ditch,” Hebert said. “The caller did not know if the person was dead.”

Investigators initially thought the man died as a result of a motorcycle crash, but results of a preliminary autopsy indicated the victim had a bullet fragment in his head, Hebert said. Several .45 caliber shell casings were also recovered near the scene, which is in a sparsely populated area, Hebert said.

A full autopsy is pending.

Hebert said investigators are now investigating the death as a homicide and trying to determine what happened.

“We have no idea how long he was there, but it probably wasn’t very long,” Hebert said.

Investigators have not been able to find anyone who may have saw what happened or heard gunshots in the middle of the afternoon, he said.

“Investigators are developing and working on a few leads,” Hebert said.

The victim was last seen earlier that day, he said.

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