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Coroner determines death cause for homeless man found on Auburn railroad tracks

Memorial service to remember Lowell Grenon; Another to pay respects to Grenon, two other homeless men
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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An Auburn man found dead after apparently being struck by a train had injuries consistent with that assumption, authorities say. Results of an autopsy by the Placer County Coroner’s Office determined that 30-year-old Lowell Robert Grenon’s death was due to multiple blunt-force trauma, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Dena Erwin said. Grenon’s body was discovered in the railroad right-of-way at about 4:40 a.m. May 27 by Union Pacific employees on a passing freight train. Auburn Police reported that the train engineer thought he had hit something and went back in the darkness to see if that had occurred. Erwin said blood toxicology tests, to determine any alcohol or drug levels, have yet to take place. Test results typically are taking eight to 10 weeks. The death remains under investigation, said Auburn Police Sgt. Victor Pecoraro. Grenon was considered homeless but did have relatives in the area. He’d lived in Auburn for 12 years and attended Placer High for a short time. Two services will take place to remember Grenon. The first is being arranged by his family and will take place at noon Monday in the Mormon Church, 287 Poet Smith Drive in Auburn. The second will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12225 Rock Creek Drive in Auburn. It’s being held by non-profits involved with aiding the homeless of the area. The second service is being organized to remember Grenon and two other homeless men who died in Auburn in recent months, said Sharon Vintze, of What Would Jesus Do? Vintze said Grenon was sweet, polite and kind but often the one others picked on in the homeless camps. Occasionally, he would show up without shoes and Vintze would give him a new pair. “It was sad because he was always so eager to help – a gentleman,” Vintze said. At the time of his death, Grenon was staying with a younger crowd near the Skyridge area in south Auburn, she said. The ceremony at the Seventh-day Adventist Church will also remember Matthew Templeman and Richard Violet. Templeman’s body was found last month in the Wise Canal. The 39-year-old former Oregon resident, had been homeless and living in Auburn since last June. He was one of five men whose bodies have been discovered in the canal since January 2009. Vintze said Violet had medical issues. He lay down in a field two months ago and died, she said. “I guess he had just lost hope,” Vintze said. “He was found with his arms across his chest and a bottle beside him.”