MALDEN, MASS. (WHDH) - Investigators asked for the public’s help Thursday in a search for a man sought for larceny in connection with a death investigation in Malden.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Malden Chief of Police Glenn Cronin announced the death investigation Thursday morning after they said officers found 79-year-old Ronald Gilbert dead inside his second floor apartment in a building on Kennedy Drive around 2 p.m. on Wednesday of last week. 

The DA’s office said it was apparent that Gilbert had been dead for some time.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has accepted the case and a ruling on the cause and manner of death is pending. However, based on the preliminary information received, officials said the case is being investigated as a suspicious death.

As part of a preliminary investigation, the DA’s office said police discovered that an item of Gilbert’s property was missing, later locating the item. The alleged theft led officials to issue an arrest warrant for 33-year-old Dion Smith of Boston. 

Smith is described at 5 feet 9 inches tall and 165 pounds with a balding head, brown eyes, and tattoos on his neck.  

A spokesperson for the apartment complex where Gilbert was found dead told 7NEWS off camera Thursday that the facility has 24-hour security, adding that the Gilbert had no guests checked in. 

While the DA’s office hadn’t specified what was stolen in this case as of Thursday afternoon, the apartment complex spokesperson said the item was a car. 

Police said anyone with any information about Smith’s whereabouts should not approach him and should immediately contact detectives at 781-322-1212.

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