June 4, 2004, 2:33 PM
POLSON, Mont. (AP) -- A shooting death that authorities
originally concluded was probably accidental is now being ruled a suicide,
Lake County authorities said Friday.
Undersheriff Mike Sargent said an autopsy conducted on
the body of Zachary W. Mienk, 21, of Michigan found "conclusive" evidence
"That was the conclusion of the forensic examiner, and
he said there is no doubt that it was a suicide," Sargent said Friday.
U.S. Forest Service workers found Mienk's body Wednesday
in western Montana's Swan Valley. Mienk, a student at Flathead Valley
Community College in Kalispell, had gone bear hunting earlier in the week.
Sargent said it originally appeared Mienk had
accidentally shot himself. His body was taken to the state crime lab in
Missoula, where Sargent said examiners found evidence of "recent suicide
attempts by other means," and indications that the bullet wound was
intentional. He declined to elaborate.
Authorities said Mienk was from Michigan, but a hometown
was not immediately available.
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