Attempted suicide in Centralia leads to discovery of man dead for several days

MARION COUNTY — Coroner Troy Cannon says his office is investigating the death of a Centralia man, who was discovered Sunday when deputies responded to a home on Marilyn Drive for a report of an attempted suicide by another resident.

Cannon says 59-year-old Terry Lea was pronounced dead on the scene at 5:05 p.m., but Lea had clearly been deceased for several days.

According to reports, 41-year-old Terri Jones was found Sunday by a family member inside the garage with a running car.

Jones was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.

When her husband was later collecting items from around the home to take to the hospital, he reportedly found the body of his wife’s father Terry Lea dead and covered up with a blanket in front of a TV that was still on.

Lea had reportedly been in poor health following two strokes. While foul play is not suspected, there are questions surrounding why his death was not reported.

Deputies reports say Lea’s death is mentioned in a suicide note left by Jones. There are further questions surrounding the situation, as Jones had a vehicle running in the garage, but no one living in the home owned a car.

A 16-year-old girl living in the residence was found asleep in a bedroom when deputies arrived. She said she was not aware her grandfather had died.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Coroner’s Office, and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Division are continuing to investigate various aspects of the case.

An autopsy on Lea is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to help determine an exact cause of death.