Coroner: Mazzola found dead face down in bed at home

COLUMBIA STATION, Ohio - The Lorain County Sheriff's Department and Lorain County coroner responded to the home of exotic animal owner Sam Mazzola Sunday morning where he was found dead.

According to Lorain County Deputy Coroner Frank Miller, Mazzola was found face down on a water bed. A 17-year-old worker discovered Mazzola's body when he came to work Sunday morning.

The cause of death appears to be asphyxiation, according to the coroner.

Investigators took some items from the home, including computers. The Sheriff's office said the computers were running and they are going to survey them to see if there is a time pattern of when they were last used.

Mazzola was known for his exotic animal pets and hosting bear wrestling shows.

In August 2010, a bear on Mazzola's property killed 24-year-old Brent Kandra.

Kandra died after he was mauled by a bear named Iroquois. Mazzola has said the attack happened when Kandra, who was one of the bear's caretakers, was doing a routine feeding.

The tragedy created a whirlwind of scrutiny regarding the oversight of exotic animals. The humane society continues to push for legislation that would ban the acquisition of dangerous exotic animals as pets.

Stay with NewsChannel5 and for the latest details on this developing story.

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