Navy sailor drowned in Waukegan Harbor, but manner of death ‘undetermined’: coroner – NBC Chicago
More than two months after 21-year-old US Navy member Séamus Gray first disappeared and a month after his body was discovered in Waukegan harbor, a new coroner’s report shows the manner of death in his case is “undetermined”.
A spokesperson for the Lake County Coroner’s Office said no significant injuries were found on Gray’s body and toxicology tests showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.14, well above of the legal driving limit, but below what medical professionals consider a “death threat”. Rising.
A preliminary autopsy had already determined Gray’s cause of death to be drowning, but the official report was pending toxicology results.
“Based on the entire police, NCIS and coroner’s inquest, the manner of death is ‘undetermined,'” said Steve Newton, assistant chief of the Lake County Coroner’s Office.
Gray’s body was found on April 19 when a group of ComEd workers doing routine work near the port said they saw a body in the waters of Lake Michigan.
Officials said the body and clothing matched the description of Gray, who disappeared on March 18. The Lake County Coroner’s Office later identified Gray as the victim in the case.
“On behalf of the City of Waukegan, I extend our deepest condolences to the family of Séamus Gray,” Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor said in a statement. “As a mother, I cannot begin to imagine feeling the sadness and pain that Seamus’ family has and will endure. Our prayers are with Mr Gray’s family.
His mysterious disappearance led to major search efforts by multiple departments as authorities struggled to find answers in the case.
Authorities say Gray, a sailor stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes, was last seen around 1:35 a.m. on March 18 leaving the Ibiza nightclub, located at 17 N. Genesee St. in Waukegan, about 40 miles north of Chicago.
Gray was first noticed missing when he failed to report to Naval Station Great Lakes at the scheduled time at 2 a.m. Saturday, officials said.
Newly released surveillance video outside the bar where 21-year-old Seamus Gray disappeared shows Gray just before 2 a.m. standing up and talking to a group of people. At one point in the video, Gray is seen on the ground. At another point, someone in the group appears to take Gray’s wallet out of their pocket, but then throws it back to him. Later in the video, Gray is seen taking off in a nearby alley.
Security footage from outside the Ibiza nightclub shows Gray just before 2 a.m. standing and talking to a group of people. At one point in the video, Gray is seen on the ground. At another point, someone in the group appears to grab the wallet from Gray’s pocket, but then throws it back to him.
Later in the video, Gray is seen taking off in a nearby alley.
In a press conference, Ibiza manager Adrian Hernandez said Gray entered the nightclub twice early on Saturday morning but was eventually escorted out for being too drunk.
Hernandez added that Gray had at least two altercations outside the bar.
“It’s just a sad situation for us,” Hernandez said. “We just want him found…we just want to cooperate in any way we can. We are doing everything we can to cooperate with the police investigation with the family.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Gray’s fate, it was not until 2 p.m. on March 21 that Waukegan police said they were notified of Gray’s disappearance.
“It wasn’t until days later that they uncovered information that determined he was in fact in Waukegan in the early morning hours of [March 18]”Waukegan Deputy Chief Brian Mullen said during an update on the case.
Once Waukegan police learned of Gray’s disappearance, Mullen said they “sprung into action almost immediately” and began a search of the areas where he was last seen.
Mullen said detectives spoke to some people who were with Gray that night. However, they said they did not see or hear from him after he left the bar.
Authorities said additional surveillance video also showed Gray at the lake the night he disappeared.
“We received other videos here at the lake from some of the marina businesses that showed Séamus just at the water’s edge,” Mullen said. “And so we focused our efforts on finding water again.”
Mullen said Gray’s phone has shown no activity since she disappeared.
Search efforts in recent weeks have focused on the waters of Lake Michigan in the northern suburbs of Chicago, where Gray went missing.