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Police: Bridgeport man found in East Lyme died of gunshot wound

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East Lyme — Police have identified the man whose body was found on the side of a road in East Lyme on Tuesday night.

Jonathan Dawson, 23, of Bridgeport died of a gunshot wound, East Lyme police Chief Michael Finkelstein said Wednesday afternoon after the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.

While a suspect has not been identified in the case, the public is not in any immediate danger, Finkelstein said.

A passerby spotted Dawson's body lying on the side of West Society Road near the Interstate 95 Exit 73 south off-ramp about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Finkelstein said Wednesday morning.

When police responded to the scene, they found "the person was not alive," Finkelstein had said. He added that East Lyme firefighters took steps to "save the person, but it was determined he was deceased for too long." It was not clear how long he had been dead.

As of Wednesday evening, Finkelstein could not give a physical description of the body or a location of the gunshot wound on the body. He also did not provide any detail about the scene of the crime.

Finkelstein said later Wednesday night that it wasn’t clear why Dawson was in the area, whether he was killed there or somewhere else and then dumped there, and it wasn’t yet known how long he was dead before he was found.

Connecticut State Police Major Crimes and the New London State's Attorney's Office were on the scene assisting town police until about 6 a.m., Finkelstein had said.

The case remains under active investigation by the East Lyme Police Department in conjunction with the Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad, Bridgeport Police Department and the New London State’s Attorney’s Office.

Day Staff Writer Taylor Hartz contributed to this report.

m.biekert@theday.com

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