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UPDATED: Police investigating Salem man's death in Vermont

UPDATED: Police investigating Salem man's death in Vermont

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Police in central Vermont are trying to figure out what caused an elderly Salem man to die in his vehicle off a remote road.

Anthony Spinelli, 83, was found unconscious in a vehicle that was stuck in a field off a road in Grafton, Vermont, around 1:30 p.m. Monday. Grafton is a sparsely populated town in central western Vermont.

An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont, but no details were available as of Tuesday afternoon.

Vermont State Police said a caretaker for a property off Middletown Road found the vehicle in a field, and discovered Spinelli inside. Police believe he drove off the road and died either of hypothermia or natural causes, as there was no indication of any injuries from a crash. Police said there was nothing to indicate any criminal activity occurred, but police were trying to figure out why Spinelli was in Grafton, which is a town of about 700 people near the New Hampshire border.

Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Thomas McCoy said investigators believe Spinelli had been in the car for several days when he was found. Snow on the car indicated it was driven into the field before Saturday’s snowstorm.

“The car had been there three or four days, at least,” McCoy said.

McCoy said police have not found any indication that Spinelli knew anyone in the Grafton area, but he did have friends in the Manchester, Vermont, area. Receipts found with him indicated he had traveled through that area recently, he said.

While Spinelli is a common last name in the Glens Falls region, McCoy said there were no indications he had any relatives in the Salem or Glens Falls areas. He was not married, and his next of kin was an older sister in New York City. The property where he was found is just northwest of the hamlet of Grafton, near a park and Route 121, one of the main routes into town.

Anyone with information about Spinelli’s activities as asked to call police at 802-722-4600.

More details will be posted when they become available.

Don Lehman covers police and court matters, Warren County government and the outdoors. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or


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