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Salesman found dead, slumped over in his car


A 59-year-old car salesman was found dead in the driver's seat of his automobile on a parking lot of the Middlebrook Apartments in Westminster about 8 a.m. yesterday.

John A. Essich was pronounced dead at the scene by the associate medical examiner for Carroll County, Richard Jones. He ordered the body taken to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

Dr. Jones said there were no external marks of violence on the man, who was wearing a college ring on his left hand and another gold ring on his right hand. A gold watch was on his left wrist, Westminster city police said, and there was an undisclosed amount of money in the pocket of the maroon shorts he was wearing.

Police said a maintenance man at the apartments called for a medic unit for the unconscious man and then called police. Investigators were attempting to determine where the salesman was last seen before he drove into a parking space near his apartment in the 400 block of Baldwin Park Drive, off South Center Street.

Mr. Essich, who was an employee of Griffith Auto Park in the 500 block of Baltimore Blvd. for the past two years, was described by a co-worker as a man in excellent health, who put younger men to shame while shoveling snow off the car lot during last winter's storms.

Police said the front bumper of Mr. Essich's Ford Mustang LX touched the side of the car parked on its right with enough force to leave some paint chips on the car but did no visible damage.

Mr. Essich was sitting in the seat of his vehicle with his head slumped to the right. The driver's window was down about 5 inches. He was wearing a white short-sleeve shirt and docksider-type shoes.

Investigators collected several items from Mr. Essich's vehicle for examination.

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