Restaurant owner killed after getting trapped in walk in freezer

Published On: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 12:45 AM
By: John Roberts
Place where owner of a restaurant dies trapped in a freezer
(Scroll down for video) A restaurant owner has died after being trapped in a freezer overnight.

Police suspect that Jay Luther, 47, died from carbon dioxide poisoning after accidentally being shut inside the freezer.

After a power outage Friday night the restaurant put dry ice - which emits carbon dioxide - in the freezer to preserve the food.

Luther, co-owner of Nashville restaurant Café in East Germantown, was found after an employee could not enter the building in the morning.

The employee called the other co-owner, Chris Lowry, to enter and then the two found Luther inside the freezer. A 911 call was made at that time.Police believe that when power was restored to the restaurant Luther went to the freezer and was trapped inside.

A button that opens the freezer from inside was broken and had not been working for some time, the news media reported.There is evidence that Luther struggled out of the freezer by using cardboard to try to open the latch, police spokesman Don Aaron said.

Police are investigating the death, although no foul play is suspected.

Dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide may cause asphyxiation in confined spaces because it displaces oxygen from the air.