Fraser-Winter Park Police investigate ‘suspicious death’ of local man
November 25, 2009
The death of a 44 year-old local man found early Wednesday morning in downtown Winter Park is being investigated as a “suspicious death,” according to Fraser-Winter Park Police Chief Glen Trainor.
Around 7 a.m., a resident in a trailer neighborhood east of U.S. Highway 40 found Kevin Gilbert lying in the snow on Wanderer Way less than 60 feet behind the retail building that houses Blue Sky Shoes, the Ski Broker and Back Country Grill.
Gilbert suffered from hypothermia from being outside through the night and was initially responsive but became unresponsive while in transit to Centura’s Granby Medical Center, according to Trainor.
Emergency responders performed CPR, which continued for about 55 minutes at the clinic, according to statements released by the Fraser/Winter Park Police.
Gilbert, whose body temperature was listed at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, was pronounced dead at the clinic at about 8:30 a.m.
Police are withholding information about any injuries from which Gilbert may have suffered, and police officers were placing evidence markers next to spots of blood on the icy roadway at the scene Wednesday morning.
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The area was taped off for five hours on Wednesday as investigators interviewed possible witnesses and collected evidence. As of Wednesday afternoon, police had not identified any suspects related to the incident.
Considered a “longtime” local who enjoyed mountain biking and who was well-known in the service industry, Gilbert had worked at Smokin’ Moe’s as a co-manager for more than a year.
Gilbert had closed the restaurant for the night at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, according to employees. Police say witnesses said he was last seen at nearby Deno’s Mountain Bistro that same night until about midnight.
Trainor said police have not determined how much Gilbert may have had to drink. The investigation is ongoing as to what led to Gilbert’s injuries.
“At this time, it is unknown whether the victim fell and injured himself and subsequently passed out, or whether he was assaulted and knocked unconscious,” a police press release says.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, according to Grand County Coroner Brenda Bock.
Smokin’ Moe’s remained closed on Wednesday as employees mourned the loss of their fellow co-worker. Other friends of Gilbert’s gathered at Deno’s in shock.
“He was a good guy,” said owner Ted Kutrumbos. “We’re going to miss him for sure.”
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.