FRONT ROYAL — Former Warren County sheriff Daniel McEathron died Tuesday at 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 worked as a major for 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 that 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.
On March 26, the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority filed a $17.6 million civil embezzlement lawsuit against ex-EDA executive director Jennifer McDonald, ITFederal developer Curt Tran, McEathron, Donald Poe, Justin Appleton and limited liability companies associated with those individuals.
When McDonald resigned in December, she stated in an email to the EDA board that she is liable for $2.7 million in EDA losses.
McDonald was denied bond Tuesday by Warren County Circuit Court Judge Clifford L. Athey.
The bond hearing came after McDonald was arrested Friday on two felony counts of fraud and two felony counts of embezzlement.