Investigation determines that Lake Orion man died of natural causes

By Jim Newell

Review Editor

A Lake Orion man who was found dead in his home on W. Shadbolt Street on May 28 died of natural causes, according to results of a recently released medical examiner’s report.

The Lake Orion Police Department concluded its investigation into the death of Aaron Lee Aliff, 47, after receiving and reviewing the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s report and results from the Michigan State University Necropsy Laboratory, Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh said in a news release to The Lake Orion Review on Tuesday.

Authorities have concluded that Aaron Lee Aliff, who was found dead in his home at 232 W. Shadbolt St. on May 28, died of natural causes due to a pre-existing medical condition. Photo by J.N.

The medical examiner determined that Aliff “died of natural causes as a result of a pre-existing medical condition,” the news release stated.

Aliff’s mother, Sharon Kay Aliff, 73, was found alive but unconscious in the home and transported to an area hospital where she was listed in critical but stable condition, the police department reported.

“Sharon is doing well and residing in an assisted living environment, being cared for by family and close friends,” Narsh said.

At 1:41 p.m. on May 28, a village code enforcement officer went to the home at 232 W. Shadbolt St., to investigate excessive weeds and tall grass.

“Observing considerable mail in the mailbox, (the code enforcement officer) went to a rear door to knock and investigate. The officer saw what appeared to be a deceased male inside the landing by the back door,” said Narsh, adding that the front and rear doors of the home were locked from the inside.

Additional Lake Orion police officers and Orion Township firefighters arrived and entered the home, where they discovered Sharon Aliff on the floor near the front door, Narsh said.

As first responders moved to the rear of the home to check on Aaron Aliff, they saw a dead dog on the kitchen floor.

The officers and firefighters initially feared carbon monoxide poisoning, but that was ruled out at the scene after firefighters tested for the toxic gas, and later confirmed by lab reports.

There were no visible signs of injury or trauma to the Aliffs or their dog and no reported history of “trouble or violence” at the home; however, “the interior of the home was in an extreme state of neglect,” according to the report.

“Sharon Aliff suffers from a previously diagnosed medical condition that restricts her mobility and her ability to care for herself,” Narsh said in the Sept. 18 news release.

The animal necropsy determined the Aliffs’ dog died of natural causes, with dehydration as a possible factor. Laboratory testing determined the dog may have been dead for several days before Aaron Aliff died.

“Based on these facts, investigators determined that sometime after May 22, 2019, Aaron Aliff died. His mother, Sharon, attempted to locate him and, upon discovering his body, suffered a medical incident that led to her condition upon discovery by officers,” Narsh said. “Consistent with her medical condition, Sharon does not have any recollection of the events leading up to and including May 28, 2019.”

Authorities determined there were no other facts or evidence discovered during the investigation that would alter their conclusions.