The unattended death of a 37-year-old Rome man Tuesday has been ruled accidental as the result of asphyxiation, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brian Pfendler said.
Terry Smith of 198 Pine Haven Circle in Rome was found dead in his home at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday about one hour after he died, when family members discovered him, Pfendler said.
Oneida County forensic pathologist Michael Sikirica conducted the autopsy at 7 a.m. today and determined the cause of death to be accidental asphyxiation, Pfendler said.
How the asphyxiation occurred is not being released for the family’s sake because officials feel it wouldn’t be appropriate, Pfendler said.
Given the circumstances, and the coroner's willingness to avoid embarrassment to the family, it wouldn't take a leap of logic to assume this was an incident of autoerotic asphyxiation. It's a surprisingly common practice, with some law enforcement officers I've talked to speculating that up to half the "suicides" of young men are actually the result of an AA session gone bad.