Missing Valpo man found dead in ditch along I-80 near Lake Station

2012-04-30T12:15:00Z 2012-05-01T09:41:05Z Missing Valpo man found dead in ditch along I-80 near Lake StationBy Times Staff nwitimes.com
April 30, 2012 12:15 pm  • 

LAKE STATION | Family members Sunday night found the body of a Valparaiso man missing since Friday night in a water-filled ditch adjacent to Interstate 80.

Ronnie Stanley, 51, of the 1700 block of Vale Park Road, was pronounced dead at 9:45 p.m. on the expressway just west of Ripley Street near Lake Station, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

An autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death was conducted Monday morning but was inconclusive, Indiana State Police said. Toxicology and other tests will be conducted and the results may not be available for weeks, police said.

Investigators said they do no believe there was foul play in Stanley's death.

According to Indiana State Police, Stanley was a passenger in an eastbound car on I-80 just before 11 p.m. Friday when he got into an argument with a close acquaintance. Police said the acquaintance dropped Stanley off on the outer shoulder of eastbound I-80 at the 14.6-mile marker just west of Ripley.

The acquaintance exited the expressway at Ripley and got back onto I-80 going westbound. Police said the driver continued to Broadway, where he exited again and returned to the expressway eastbound to pick up Stanley.

When the acquaintance got to the area where he dropped off Stanley, he was no longer there.

Family members said they did not hear from Stanley on Saturday or Sunday and tried to retrace his movements when they discovered his body Sunday night.

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