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US citizen found dead on hotel bed

A US national on religious mission was found dead in his room at Radisson Blu in Ranchi on Thursday morning.

While preliminary investigations do not suggest murder, police are tight-lipped on how 67-year-old Paul Maurice Marshall died in room No. 209 of the luxury hotel where he checked in at 6pm on Wednesday. An unnatural death case has been registered and the body sent to RIMS for post-mortem.

Chutia OC Vijay Kumar Singh said the death came to light after brothers associated with the Society of Mary called on the missionary.

A hotel employee, requesting anonymity, said: “When no one answered at room 209, the brothers sought our help. After the door was unlocked with a master key, the elderly man was found motionless on the bed. A doctor later pronounced him dead.”

OC Singh said since Marshall was a foreign citizen, a three-member medical board would witness the autopsy on video. SSP Prabhat Kumar confirmed the same and said that the missionary had come to Ranchi on July 9 and was to leave for the US on Friday.

While a UD case has been lodged, the brothers have written to Chutia police saying he died of illness. A source in Chutia police said the letter read that the missionary had checked in at Radisson because he was not feeling too well and needed a better accommodation. “It seems he died in his sleep,” it said.

City SP Anoop Birtharay too ruled out foul play. “The case does not look fishy. We will, however, question the brothers on why they preferred a hotel to a hospital when the man was not well,” he said.