A self-described wandering writer, 26-year-old Todd Wunderle's life Kerouac-esque travels came to a tragic end on October 20 in Cambodia.
Wunderle, a graduate of Kent State University and Ravenna native, more than a year teaching English in Korea with his girlfriend before the pair heading out on a Southeast Asian adventure this fall. But the two weren't in Cambodia for more than a day or two when Wunderle's girlfriend woke up next to his lifeless body at the Okay Guesthouse -- a popular backpacker joint in the country's capital city Phnom Penh. It probably won't make the Frommer
's guide, so keep this in mind if you head to Cambodia: It was at the same hostel that a British tourist died just a week earlier under the same mysterious conditions.
A tuk tuk carried Wunderle to an international clinic, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Concerned that it may have been a drug-related incident, Wunderle's girlfriend was quickly escorted to the U.S. Embassy before heading back to her parent's home in Akron. Cambodian investigators later said that there was no proof of a drug overdose. No autopsy was conducted, and Wunderle's death certificate simply states that he died of a heart attack.
Wunderle's parents, meanwhile, had to scrounge up $15,000 to bring his body back to his Ohio.
In order to help the family with the cost, the Ravenna Elks Lodge (160 E Main St, Ravenna, OH 44266) is hosting a Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Donations can also be made to the Todd Wunderle Memorial Fund at any Huntington Bank location. -- Denise Grollmus