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November 29, 2012

NORCE employee found dead inside campus gymnasium

ENID — A 43-year-old Northern Oklahoma Resource Center of Enid employee apparently hanged himself Tuesday morning on the campus located in the northeast part of town, police said.

Enid Police Department received a 9:55 a.m. non-emergency call from a Department of Human Services employee concerning an “unattended death” on the NORCE campus, 2600 E. Willow, according to an EPD press release.

Officers arrived and found a man in the gymnasium who appeared to have succumbed to “self-inflicted asphyxiation,” according to the release. The man was identified as Sean Stopp, of Covington.

“The investigation is ongoing at this time, and the body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Oklahoma City for an autopsy,” EPD Capt. Jack Morris said. “Preliminary findings do not suspect foul play.”

Morris said no further information would be released Tuesday.

Oklahoma Commission for Human Services voted Nov. 1 to close NORCE and Southern Oklahoma Resource Center, a facility in Pauls Valley that provides similar services. NORCE and SORC serve developmentally disabled clients.

The nine-member commission voted 6-3 to shut down SORC by April 2014 and NORCE by August 2015. The centers’ 231 residents will be transitioned to community-based homes.

There was no indication from police that Stopp’s death was related to the decision to close the facility.

NORCE Director Sally Randall called Stopp’s death a tragedy.

“This is a most unfortunate situation, and our condolences go out to Sean’s family,” she said.

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