FRONT ROYAL, Va. — Former Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron was found dead Tuesday shortly before noon, according to Virginia State Police, who is handling the “unattended death” investigation.
Police said the Warren County Sheriff’s Office found McEathron dead on the 400 block of Skyline Forest Drive, with a firearm recovered at the scene. At this time, foul play is not suspected in relation to his death. His remains were sent to Manassas for an autopsy.
McEathron announced his early retirement after 37 years in law enforcement in March. The same month he announced his retirement, McEathron was listed in a civil lawsuit filed by the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority. The lawsuit claims the Authority’s former executive director, Jennifer McDonald, stole more than $17 million from the organization.
His death comes days after the arrest of McDonald, who was charged with two felony counts each of fraud and embezzlement Friday night.
In 2016, McEathron and McDonald formed a joint business venture called DaBoyz LLC. The suit accuses McDonald of using over $2 million from the EDA to purchase several properties under DaBoyz.
When the lawsuit was filed, McEathron released a statement that read in part: “I am in shock of the allegations and want the public to know I have done nothing illegal, either personally or professionally. Those that know me know who I am and what I stand for and that I would never do anything to compromise my position.”
On May 1, Major Michael Arnold was appointed Sheriff to finish McEathron’s term, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office website.
When McEathron spoke with WDVM on his early retirement in March, he said: “It’s been extremely enjoyable, it’s been a great career but it’s time to concentrate and do something else.”
In August 2018, McEathron announced he won’t be seeking re-election, and that he would retire after the 2019 election. At the time of his early retirement announcement, he cited wanting to spend more time with his family and restoring old cars.