Police: No charges in asphyxiation death of Montgomery pastor Associated Press
Authorities found no evidence of wrongdoing in the death of a Baptist minister who was discovered asphyxiated in his home, hogtied and dressed in two rubber diving suits, police said Wednesday.
An autopsy and investigators determined the death of the Rev. Gary Aldridge on June 24 to be an accident, said Lt. Mark Drinkard, a spokesman for the Montgomery Police Department.
"It's a closed case. There are no charges," he said.
The Montgomery Advertiser reported on the circumstances surrounding the death of Aldridge, 51, whose body was found June 24, and filed requests to make the autopsy report public after officials initially refused, citing an ongoing investigation.
When the autopsy was released Friday, the newspaper posted the report on its Web site. The Smoking Gun, an Internet site that posts crime reports and court documents, also has posted it. The report indicated that Aldridge died while seeking sexual gratification.
The autopsy, prepared by Dr. Stephen Boudreau of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, lists "accidental mechanical asphyxia" as the cause of death. Aldridge's hands and feet were bound together behind his back, and they were attached to a nylon cord fastened around his neck.
The body was dressed in a face mask with a single breathing vent, two wetsuits and was bound with cords and a belt, according to the report.
"These things happen," Boudreau told the Advertiser. "We see probably two of these a year. If you're not used to seeing that sort of thing, it's probably unusual."
Aldridge was the longtime pastor of Thornington Road Baptist Church in Montgomery. A church member found the body after Aldridge failed to show up at church on a Sunday when his wife was out of town.