Man who fell to death from Loop hotel was newspaper exec

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - The man who fell to his death from a Loop high-rise on Monday afternoon was an executive for a Midwest-based newspaper chain, though it remains unclear exactly what he was doing atop the luxury hotel.

Area Central detectives continue to investigate after 44-year-old Eric Paul Janssen fell to his death from the 23rd floor of the LondonHouse in the 0-100 block of East Wacker Drive.

Janssen fell about 3:45 p.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene minutes later, according to Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy ruled he died of multiple injuries from the fall, and ruled his death an accident.

Police initially said the Memphis, Tennessee, resident was working on the building when he fell from a 23rd floor ledge to a 6th-story rooftop.

But a statement from the Hilton-owned LondonHouse said, “He was not a hotel employee,” and published reports said he was not authorized to be in that area.

A police source said Janssen may have been taking photographs at the time, but was “not trespassing” in the hotel.

A LinkedIn profile said Janssen was vice president of audience reach for the Sandusky Newspaper Group, which operates 12 community newspapers and 31 websites in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Utah.

Friends posted on Facebook that Janssen was an avid photographer.

“I woke up this morning to find out a very great photographer friend of mine fell from a Chicago rooftop last night during a shoot and died,” one post read. “He showed so many of us so much beauty in this world that he would find in the most random places. He will be missed and so will his art.”

The LondonHouse statement also offered condolences to Janssen’s family.

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