Man Died After Becoming Trapped in College's Ventilation System, Death Ruled Accidental

Jason Thompson reportedly told his family he was running from police, though police have said they were not actively searching for him

<p>Google Maps</p> Macomb Center for the Performing Arts

Google Maps

Macomb Center for the Performing Arts

A Michigan man was found dead in a vent at a college after reportedly telling his family he was running from authorities, according to reports.

Jason Thompson, 36, died of asphyxia inside a vent at Macomb County College, authorities said, according to reports from ABC 7, FOX 2 and CBS News Detroit.

Thompson was found in the vent Sunday as campus police investigated an odor coming from the school’s performing arts building, police said, per reports.

Thompson was reported missing Nov. 1 and reportedly told his family that he was running from police. But, as CBS reported, police said they were not actively searching for him at the time of his disappearance, though he had open warrants at the time.

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“He made a deliberate decision to unlawfully enter the building’s ventilation system once on the roof, entering an air vent not designed to accommodate human access,” Macomb College police said, per a report from ABC.

“Once entering the system from the roof, he kept breaking through barriers and burrowing deeper into the HVAC system, traversing a great distance through the duct work across the entire mechanical room. Ultimately, he came to a duct that was vertical in a downward direction, which he entered head first, getting stuck when encountering a narrowed section.”

Thompson’s death was ruled an accident, authorities said, per the reports.

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