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Man found in pond was MassDOT engineer

EASTHAMPTON — The city man whose body was found Saturday in Lower Mill Pond was a 28-year state employee who worked as a resident engineer in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s District 2 office in Northampton.

Most recently, Sean C. Sullivan, 53, had been overseeing the Amherst Road construction project in Pelham, according to Sara Lavoie, a spokeswoman for MassDOT. Before that, he was the engineer in charge of the Springfield Bicentennial Highway project. Previously, when he was an engineer’s assistant, he assisted on the construction of Westfield’s Great River Bridge, completed in 2012.

“He was well-liked and well-respected” by his colleagues, Lavoie said, who were shocked and saddened by his sudden death.

Police said they have not determined what caused Sullivan’s death, but they do not suspect foul play.

Michael O’Brien of O’Brien Funeral Home, which is handling the funeral arrangements, said the family had not finalized plans for when the funeral would be held.

At her home at 10 Lincoln St., Sullivan’s wife, Shelly Sullivan, declined to speak to the Gazette Monday. Attempts to reach other family members were unsuccessful.

Easthampton Police Chief Bruce W. McMahon said his department is working with the Northwestern district attorney’s office to investigate Sullivan’s death, but he said he does not expect to have details anytime soon about how Sullivan could have died.

“It’s up to the medical examiner now to determine a cause of death and do toxicology and other tests,” he said. “We won’t know for a while.”

Sullivan’s body was spotted by passers-by Saturday around 4 p.m. and removed from Lower Mill Pond about 5:45 p.m. The part of the pond where he was found is not far from his home.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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