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Master of Scaremonies
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Intruder Found Dead In Store's Duct
POSTED: 6:46 am EST January 12, 2007

MISSOULA, Mont. -- A 280-pound man who tried to break into a craft and hobby store by crawling in through a cooling duct got stuck and died, authorities said.

The Missoula County coroner's office identified the man as Kenneth Ellingson, 37, of Missoula, and said the cause of death was positional asphyxiation.

The owner of the Treasure Chest hobby store arrived for work around 8:30 a.m. and called 911 when he found the store had no electricity and the phone was out, said police Lt. Mike Brady.

"In the course of looking into what happened, officers found the phone lines had been cut and the power to the building had been tampered with," Brady said. "They also found a ladder leaning against the back of the business and used it to get access to the roof."

There, they found Ellingson wedged headfirst in a cooling duct, Brady said.

Authorities said the 6-foot-tall, 280 pound man got stuck in an L-shaped portion of the duct probably around 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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