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Retired Auburn dentist’s body discovered three weeks after suspected electrocution

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A retired dentist and father of a state cross-country champion, Rad Eastman was found dead in his Auburn home Wednesday, the victim of what authorities say was a possible accidental electrocution three weeks ago. Eastman, 56, is believed to have died in late August. His body is suspected to have lain undiscovered for three weeks before Placer County Sheriff’s Department personnel – acting on neighbors’ concerns – entered his Mill Road home in the Bowman area of North Auburn. Lt. Jeff Ausnow said Thursday that an autopsy would better determine the cause of death but that Eastman, who lived alone, was possibly electrocuted. “He may have been working on some wiring,” Ausnow said. “But we’ll have to wait for the official cause of death.” Neighbors contacted the sheriff’s department after noticing a strong odor coming from Eastman’s house. When sheriff’s personnel entered, they found Eastman’s body. There were no indications of foul play, Ausnow said. Eastman established a dental practice in Auburn but then was forced to retire after being involved in auto accidents that created a disability, said Auburn chiropractor James Greenlee, a fellow Auburn Gold Country Rotarian. Greenlee and Eastman had been the two remaining charter Gold Country Rotary members, having both joined in 1984. Eastman, who was divorced, is survived by his son Stuart, who won the California Interscholastic Federation Division III crosscountry running title in 2000, and three daughters. Attempts to reach the family were unsuccessful late Thursday. Greenlee said Eastman enjoyed running and the outdoors, as well as his Rotary experience. The Eastman and Greenlee families had gone on several hiking trips while the children were still young. “Probably some of those backpacking trips, that’s the way I’ll remember him most – with some interesting ways of cooking,” Greenlee said. In more recent years, Greenlee said he’d noticed Eastman had kept to himself more – which would explain why no one knew about his death for three weeks. And Greenlee said that Eastman was someone who was always tinkering with things around the home. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.