'Ritualistic' sex-act death involving huffed fumes cleared Chesco hotel

Posted: November 16, 2010

The evacuation of a Chester County hotel earlier this month was caused when staffers entered a room, found an Indiana man's naked, lifeless body next to various sexual devices and a gas mask, and smelled the stinging odor of unknown liquids, police and sources said.

The liquids turned out to be cleaning solutions that the man had been huffing as part of a solo sexual act, a source said yesterday.

State Police responded to the Fairfield Inn and Suites, on Baltimore Pike near McFarlan Road, in Kennett Square, on Nov. 4, after hotel employees found the 48-year-old man, whom police did not identify, dead in his room.

A chemical odor and unknown, potentially hazardous liquid substances found in the room prompted a partial evacuation of the hotel.

As a result, the Chester County hazardous-materials team was called to the scene, which was deemed safe, police said.

The substances were various inhalants, including VHS tape cleaner and other cleaning solutions.

Police believe the substances were being inhaled by the man to create a euphoric sensation.

A source said that the sexual devices and the gas mask indicated that the man's behavior may have been "ritualistic."

Although the investigation into the death is ongoing, police do not suspect foul play.

He was found alone in the room, and police believe that he died while engaging in a solo sexual act.

Police did not release the cause of death and said they did not know if it was due to the inhalants.

An autopsy report is pending toxicology results.

Although authorities did not release the man's name, they said that he was married, from Bloomington, Ind., and was staying at the hotel while in the area on business.

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