When a younger man along with his entire life forward of him was discovered lifeless below mysterious circumstances, the household was left with many questions. Tyler Smith was a hardworking particular person who was about to start an thrilling profession. But an evening out with buddies in September 2018 by some means led to his dying.
Investigation Discovery’s ‘Still a Mystery: The Death of Innocence’ focuses on Tyler’s story as one of many two circumstances featured within the episode. His household has labored relentlessly to resolve his dying since his physique was discovered. So, should you’re questioning what occurred on this case, we’ve acquired you coated.
How Did Tyler Smith Die?
Tyler Smith was a beloved son, brother, and buddy. He graduated from highschool in Rochelle, Illinois, and later enrolled within the Army National Guard in 2013. Tyler additionally acquired a bachelor’s diploma in Criminal Justice from Western Illinois University. After his commencement, the 23-year-old was in California for an internship with the San Jose Police Department and finally utilized to coach as a cadet within the police academy there.
Just earlier than beginning his stint in California, Tyler went to Galesburg, Illinois, to go to some buddies from his National Guard days and to attend a month-to-month National Guard drill in Macomb, Illinois. On the evening of September 14, 2018, Tyler went bar-hopping along with his buddies. The following day, he didn’t report back to his drill and was nowhere to be seen. At round 7 PM on September 15, a passerby discovered Tyler’s physique in a drainage canal in Cedar Fort Creek, Galesburg. He was discovered facedown in shallow water. The preliminary post-mortem ruled that Tyler died of unintended drowning, and no foul play was suspected.
Who Killed Tyler Smith?
While the authorities initially concluded that there was nothing suspicious about Tyler’s dying, his household disagreed. They labored to piece collectively his timeline earlier than his dying, hoping to seek out any clues that may make them extra info. Tyler arrived in Galesburg on the night of September 14. He was supposed to stick with a buddy for the evening after which attend the drill the next day. The final time his mother and father spoke with him was round 7 PM that evening.
Tyler visited a number of bars with two of his buddies and, at round 10:42 PM, was captured withdrawing cash at an ATM with at the least one among his buddies. Sometime after that, Tyler’s telephone revealed that he exchanged a number of texts and messages along with his different buddies. At round 11:46 PM, he texted a buddy saying he didn’t know the place he was. Something curious popped up on his well being monitor as nicely. Tyler’s mom, Sandra Halsne, mentioned, “The [health] monitor noted Tyler stopped moving at 11:52 p.m. Friday and he never moved again.”
At round 6:21 AM on September 15, Tyler’s telephone went straight to voicemail when a buddy who was with him the earlier evening tried to name him. Tyler had been separated from his group someday within the evening for an unknown purpose. From the post-mortem, it was understood that the 23-year-old will need to have fallen down and that his accidents have been in keeping with that. But, Sandra felt in any other case. She said, “When I was finally able to see my son, I knew that this wasn’t an accident. There were multiple injuries to his face. Something more happened to him. He didn’t just accidentally drown in a few inches of water.”
The household additionally believed that given the accidents in Tyler’s face, wrists, and different locations, he was restrained and brought to the canal by pressure. Sandra additionally acknowledged that the police told her they couldn’t establish Tyler from the ATM surveillance video regardless of having it with them for weeks. In 2019, a retired murder investigator, Mitchell Drake, appeared into the case and famous a number of inconsistencies.
Mitchell stated that the crime scene evaluation was not achieved completely sufficient, and the division had not adopted protocol. Furthermore, Tyler’s physique was not examined for international DNA. In the tip, he concluded, “Tyler Smith likely suffered a battery by persons not yet known that directly led to his death. He was likely unconscious before his final placement in Cedar Fork Creek.”
The household’s work bore fruit when in July 2020, Tyler’s physique was exhumed, and a second post-mortem was performed. While the findings haven’t been made public, in September 2020, the Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation announced a probe into Tyler’s dying. Sandra hoped to seek out solutions quickly, including, “That was his dream since he was a kid; he wanted to capture a bad guy. And now I hope we’re able to do that for him. We need to catch the bad guy who did this to our son.”
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