Autopsy: Sugar Notch man died of natural causes

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Vassello -

HANOVER TWP. — An autopsy on the body of a man found inside his Sugar Notch residence Wednesday revealed he died of natural causes.

The Luzerne County Coroner’s Office reported Thursday that John Vassello’s death was unrelated to a domestic dispute involving a stepdaughter just hours earlier.

Vassello, 64, was found by his wife, Ninette Vassello, in the basement of their residence at 918 Main St. at about 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Hours earlier, Vassello was the alleged victim of a domestic dispute with his stepdaughter, Kaylea Louise Austin.

Sugar Notch police responded to the home just after 9 p.m. Tuesday and spoke with Vassello.

Vassello told police Austin, 27, was in front of the house arguing with her boyfriend. When Vassello’s wife went outside to see what was going on, Vassello followed her to stop Austin from arguing.

Vassello claimed Austin shoved him, causing him to twist his knee and fall to the ground, striking his head.

Vassello was evaluated by emergency medical technicians at his home but refused to seek further treatment at a hospital.

An investigation by state police and officials with the coroner and district attorney’s offices revealed there were no signs of foul play, according to a state police news release.

For the domestic dispute, Austin was arrested and charged with simple assault, reckless endangerment, harassment and driving with a suspended license. She was released on $5,000 unsecured bail after she was arraigned Wednesday morning in Luzerne County Central Court.


By Ed Lewis

[email protected]