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Elderly NC man’s death in grease trap accidental



MONCURE, N.C. — The death of an 80-year-old man found in a grease trap behind a North Carolina country store has been ruled accidental.

Capt. Mike Roberson of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that Earl Gardner fell into the 24-square-inch shallow pit Wednesday. Gardner’s daughter Marcie Lorbacher said she suspected her father had a heart attack while cleaning a drain and fell.

Roberson said an autopsy would not be conducted.

Gardner had worked at Ray’s Super Market for about 50 years in the Moncure community, about 27 miles south of Raleigh. Friends said he was known for making sausage, his 60-year marriage to his high school sweetheart, Hilda, and his 11-year-old mixed breed dog Missy.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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