Northern New York Newspapers
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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Police continue probe of boy’s death


POTSDAM — Clarkson University’s men’s soccer coach Oral “Nick” Hillary has been questioned in connection with the death of a boy whose mother he is believed to have dated, but Police Chief Edward F. Tischler said at a Wednesday night press conference that he is not a suspect.

“Right now, we have no suspects or persons of interest,” Mr. Tischler said. “The investigation continues.”

Garrett J. Phillips, 12, was found unconscious in his Market Street apartment by police after neighbors called 911 to report noises and a scream they had heard early Monday evening. The boy died after being taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

Results of an autopsy are expected in the next two days, Mr. Tischler said.

Mr. Hillary had been dating the boy’s mother, Tandy L. Cyrus, who lived with her son in the second-floor apartment of North County Manor at 100 Market St., sources said.

Kelly Chezum, Clarkson vice president for external relations, said that Mr. Hillary would not coach the team’s practice on Thursday. She said she not know why assistant coach, Ian Fairlie, would be taking over coaching duties, or if he would be coaching the squad’s final game Saturday against St. Lawrence University, Canton.

Mr. Hillary, a graduate in 2000 and four-year soccer player at SLU, is in his third year as coach of the Golden Knights.

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