The young mayor of a small Pennsylvania town was found dead Thursday shortly after he resigned, according to the Associated Press. Brandon Wentz, 23, reportedly died of pulmonary congestion, but investigators were initially puzzled by his sudden death considering his young age.
Wentz was considered to be "an energetic member of the community" in Mount Carbon, a city with a population of 90 and located 100 miles outside of Philadelphia. An aspiring writer, Wentz was in his junior year at Kutztown University when he was appointed to the mayoral position. His grandmother served as the first female mayor of Mount Carbon and his mother worked as a former borough council member.
Wentz's mother confirmed Thursday with local media that he had resigned because they had moved out of the borough. The cause of Wentz's death, however, initially proved to be unclear to investigators.
"We are investigating further with our colleagues at the state police (at Schuylkill Haven)," Schuylkill County Coroner Dr. David G. Moylan III told the Times-Tribune on Friday. "Any death of a 23-year-old is suspicious unless he was on hospice."
Moylan later determined that Wentz died from "some pulmonary congestion," according to the Time-News Online. The coroner claimed that there are "a couple of different things that could cause pulmonary congestion."
Pulmonary congestion, also known as pulmonary edema and wet lung, is a common medical complication that affects more than 200,000 people annually. This condition, which emerges from excess fluid in the lungs, can appear unexpectedly or develop over a period of time. While it can be caused by a heart condition, other causes include pneumonia and exposure to certain toxins and drugs, among other factors.
Pulmonary congestion is treatable with the help of a medical professional, and it typically clears within two days to two weeks. Sweating, fatigue, coughing and shortness of breath when lying down are listed as some of the symptoms of this condition.