FRONT ROYAL — Former Warren County sheriff Daniel McEathron died Tuesday “on property within the 400 block of Skyline Forest Drive” in or near his home, according to a news release from Virginia State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Brent Coffey.

The release states McEathron’s death is “an unattended death,” and that “a firearm was recovered at the scene.” The release notes that “at this stage of the investigation, foul play is not suspected.”

McEathron’s body was discovered just before noon Tuesday by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, and the investigation was turned over to the state police’s Culpeper office, according to the release.

McEathron worked for 37 years at the office, the last 16 as sheriff. He retired in May, before the end of his fourth term, saying at the time that he was happy with the state of the office upon his exit.

Front Royal Police Chief Kahle Magalis, who served as a major under McEathron for several years, said over the phone that his former boss “did a lot of great things for the community.”

“I can tell you with the years I spent working there, I’ve always known him to be an upstanding leader,” Magalis said.

County Administrator Doug Stanley said over the phone that McEathron had a long and distinguished career and the county’s thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Sheriff’s Office.

Coffey states in the release that the investigation is ongoing and McEathron’s remains were transported to the Manassas Office of the Medical Examiner for an autopsy.

Sheriff Mike Arnold, who is serving as sheriff until the November election, could not be reached for comment.

– Contact Josh Gully at jgully@nvdaily.com