I apologize in advance for such a depressing post, but I am at a loss for the next productive (there are many obvious ones that would be 'unproductive' at best) steps ..

Although ruled a suicide, a friends death is obvious to us to be done by his wife.

He had recently let her know he wanted a divorce, they were both home, she had asked the grandmother to take the kids to school (which she never did), the shot was fired in the kitchen, he was shot in the chest (not head), her 911 call (we have the recording) was chilling in its dispassionate tone while he lay gasping.

However, the Polk County Sheriffs ruled a suicide. I would deeply appreciate any guidance on steps we can take & particular factors that would convince them to to re-open the investigation. 

We are getting the police report and have the 911 recording.

If you could provide some guidance on practical steps..we would be extremely grateful. He was a fun & wonderful man with always an open hand (and beer) for a friend and a great father. He deserved so much more than this..

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Hi Karl,

What a terrible situation. Have you tried to contact your city prosecutor? Did they do any tests on his hands (or hers) to find out if there was gun powder residue? A good homicide detective would be able to discern from tests, showing the angle of the gun, how he would hold it if he shot himself and blood spatter on his clothes and the distance from which he was shot.

I have a friend whose husband just retired from being the lead homicide detective in Honolulu. if you need me to ask her, maybe her husband would be willing to talk to you.
My email address is margopowell@yahoo.com feel free to contact me.
Best of Luck, I hope the truth comes out!


I am not sure about open records laws in Florida, but in many states once an investigation is closed the police reports become a public record. You can ask the police department for copies of all of the reports. If Florida is an open records state, they are required to provide them for you even though you will have to pay a reasonable amount per page. $.25 per page is pretty standard, but not a mandate.

Reviewing the reports would give you the opportunity to see everything that the police took into consideration when making their decision. Once you have both sides of the story you would likely be in a better position to ask the police department to take another look. If they refuse and you are still convinced that they should, asking the State police to review the case is oftentimes effective.

I am sorry for your loss. I hope you find peace in your lifetime.

My only 20 year old son was shot 9/30/12. The girl he was with told police that they were playing with the gun and he shot himself. We know that did not happen.

The police here in Mobile Alabama took her word and closed the case. We asking for answers, they just label him as a case. It has been over one (1) year now.

Asking for a private investigator for help too.


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