Accidental suicide may be cause of death

Tony Lange

She had a gut instinct that something was wrong the morning before his body was discovered. The two had been a couple for nearly 15 years.

“I woke up antsy. I just wasn’t feeling right,” said Becky Clark, who was staying with a close friend in Akron at the time. “It was about 7:00 Tuesday morning. I was very jumpy. I was very nervy.”

Clark made the route back to her residence on West Main Street in Kent later that morning so she and her loved one could discuss rent matters with their landlord.

When she got home, she found the door locked.

“Why would he lock the door? We never locked the door even if he’s going to the library. Why would he lock the door?” Clark repeated during an interview Wednesday.

When she entered their leased section of the house—“the C section”—she discovered more disarray.

His blanket was still on the couch. The dishes were piled up in the sink. His wristwatch lay on a table near the door.

“He was very OCD about things. The man never went anywhere without his watch. He had his routine,” Clark said. “I knew when I stepped in the house that he was gone and I’d never see him again and that was Tuesday morning around 10.’”

Twenty-four hours later, Wednesday Nov. 10, Kent police arrived at her door. She was not ready to hear what an officer was about to tell her.

“Just because you know something or feel something, that does not prepare you to hear them dreadful words, ‘Yes ma’am it is him. And he is deceased,’” Clark said recalling what the officer had told her.

A passerby discovered the body of Scott D. Vaughn, 47, at about 9 a.m. that Wednesday near the Wheeling and Erie Railroad tracks just north of the 800 block of West Main Street. Vaughn and Clark shared a residence in the 900 block.

Vaughn’s death is still open and under investigation, said Lt. Jayme Cole with the Kent Police Department in an interview on Dec. 2.

“There isn’t anything new,” Cole said. “Thankfully, we don’t have a ton of deaths this major, so I don’t know what an average time is. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a time frame.”

The cause of death awaits test results of an autopsy by the Summit County medical examiner. On Dec. 2, the Portage County Coroner’s Office said it expects the results within eight to 12 weeks from the time of death.

Clark said she already knows what the cause of death is. “I know it’s suicide,” she said. “But I don’t think it was on-purpose, on-purpose.”

Clark said that Vaughn has suffered from depression and binge drinking.

“I’m telling you it was the Paxil,” Clark said. “He got on it Sept. 2, and Nov. 9 he was dead. So, I truly believe that the Paxil had something to do with elevating the suicidal thoughts, the depression.”

When the police officers found Vaughn’s body, he was facing toward the road. His shoes were off and were lying next to him, along with his wallet, Clark said she remembered the police telling her.

Clark said she told the Kent officers to check for Mobic (Meloxicam), a prescription drug used to treat pain or inflammation caused by arthritis, in Vaughn’s system.

When she arrived back in Kent from Akron, Clark said, she discovered her Mobic prescription was refilled on Monday—two days before Vaughn’s body was discovered. She had been off the medication for some time, she said, and hadn’t had it refilled.

“There’s 30 pills in a bottle,” she said. “All the pills are gone and I find the empty bottle in my medicine thing. I never got it filled. The person at CVS told me he picked it up and signed for it himself,” Clark said.

Anyone can pick up a prescription medication for a second party as long as they sign for it, said Michelle Frederick, a pharmacist at the CVS on Route 43 in Kent. She did not recall Clark or Vaughn, she said, during an interview Thursday.

Taking 30 pills of Mobic would not necessarily kill someone, Frederick said. It may cause intestinal bleeding. Perhaps if mixed with alcohol and Paxil it could be terminal, she said.

As Clark sat on her couch inside her West Main Street home, she stared at more than a dozen pictures of Vaughn that she had atop a dresser. A holy candle set lit in the center.

“I’m his widow.”