Autopsy inconclusive on disabled man left in van

August 4, 2011 4:10:19 AM PDT
A 48-year-old disabled man died after he was left in the back seat of a van in East Harlem for six hours Tuesday.

At the Fisher Center in East Harlem, there was little evidence of the dark cloud left by the death of one of the facility's developmentally disabled clients.

On Tuesday, Alonzio Eason was found dead inside a van around 3:30 p.m. Police suspect he may have been left there alone in the heat for as long as 6 hours.

"That person who left [the man] behind, clearly, I don't know where their heads were," area resident Shirley Campbell said.

Campbell lives near the East Village Group Home where Eason lived, and where he was reportedly picked up around 9 a.m. Tuesday nd taken to the Lexington location.

"I don't understand how they could leave someone like that, I can't imagine it," adds Campbell.

Both the home and the center are run by the AHRC, a non-profit agency that provides services for the disabled.

Citing the police investigation, the agency refused to speculate on why center staff didn't notice Eason was missing, saying in part "It is deeply saddened by the death of an individual who spent many of his 47 years being served by AHRC, New York City. We mourn the loss and offer our condolences to his family."

However, the state office for People with Developmental Disabilities, which oversees the AHRC, said "It is unacceptable that this man's absence went unnoticed for several hours?we are fully reviewing system-wide policies and will act swiftly to correct weaknesses that exist."

The autopsy on Eason was inconclusive.