GROTON -- Chief Donald Palma reports that the Groton Police Department is investigating an unattended death that occurred today at a residence in town.

At approximately 4 p.m., Groton Police responded to a home on Graniteville Road for a well being check.

Upon arrival to the house, police located a man who was unresponsive. He was declared dead at the scene.

The man is identified as John Warren Geils Jr.age 71, of Groton (better known as J. Geils), who was the homeowner. 

The Groton Police Department is investigating the death, as is standard procedure in all unattended deaths, however foul play is not suspected at this time.

A preliminary investigation indicates that Geils died of natural causes.

No further information will be released at this time. 

The senseless horror and death at the Boston Marathon bombings are etched in the images of this tragedy across the country and the world. Runners, friends, families, children on school vacation, all came out on a gorgeous day to celebrate what is quintessentially American - Patriots Day, Monday, April 15, and the running of the Boston Marathon. Two bombs set off, moments apart, near the Marathon finish line forever changed everything.

When terrible events happen, immediate response comes from everywhere - police departments from cities and towns all over the state and many departments from out of state sent their officers, vehicles and equipment, bomb squads, firefighters, emergency management teams, FBI, ATF, state police, transit police and others. Everyone recognized the seriousness of the bombing, and all were singularly committed to finding the sole surviving suspect.

Groton Police Department responded in a big way. As leaders in the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), Groton Police Chief Donald Palma, along with Westford Police Chief Thomas McEnanay, responded to Boston immediately. They are part of the NEMLEC team responsible for Incident Management Assessment, including communications and coordination of police response. The two chiefs were present in the final effort to capture the bomber in Watertown, hunkered down behind police cruisers as the armored truck with the robot arm peeled back the tarp covering the boat where the bomber was hiding. National TV filmed them getting ready for the close.

Lt. James Cullen also responded as a member of NEMLEC's Rapid Response Team and spent the week in Boston and Watertown. Officer Nick Beltz and Officer Lola were also there to assist.

Groton Detective Cory Waite came in from vacation; Sgt. Jason Goodwin came in from his day off to join the motorcycle unit; Sgt. Ed Sheridan, Officer Dale Rose, Officer Gordon Candow, Officer Timothy Cooper, and Officer Bethany Evans came into Boston and Watertown at different points to ensure a seamless transition. Praising the Groton Police Department, Chief Palma said "I could not have done this without this team of professionals. In Groton we were fully staffed and had extra help available if we needed it. I am so very, very proud of the members of my department - of your department."

The Groton Police Department has installed an On-Line safe zone in the parking lot in front of its facility at 99 Pleasant Street for those who want to make online transactions in person in a safe place.

The hope is that this “On-Line exchange safety zone” will provide a well-lit, camera-monitored place for people to make property exchanges and online sales transactions.  For example, if someone were to purchase something on Craigslist they would have a safe place to exchange money for whatever they are purchasing.

“We initially learned about the exchange zones from various national media sources around the country, and decided a similar zone for our citizens would aid in their safety and protection,” said Chief of Police Donald Palma.  “If someone is not willing to meet you at the police station to transfer property for money, you probably don’t want to be doing business with them.”

“We are seeing more and more safety zones being designated at other law enforcement facilities and I think that this is a great resource for our citizens,” he added. The locations could also be used for child custody exchanges as well.

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