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Posted on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Investigation into death of Nathan Tracy continues; 2nd toxicology report ordered

By Kyle Feldscher

This story has been corrected to show Tracy was from Trenton.

The investigation into the death of Trenton teenager Nathan Tracy continues after the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office decided to do a second round of toxicology tests.

Thumbnail image for Nathan_Tracy.jpg

Nathan Tracy

Pittsfield Township Public Safety Director Matt Harshberger said Thursday investigators are still holding Tracy’s vehicle in the police department’s impound lot while the investigation continues. An autopsy was performed on Tracy back in September and the medical examiner’s office was waiting for results from toxicology tests to determine his official cause of death.

Now, nearly four months after Tracy was found dead on Sept. 8, investigators are still waiting.

“We’re still holding onto his vehicle in impound because they sent another round of toxicology tests for analysis,” Harshberger said. “We’re not at a point yet where we have a final determination on what the cause of death is.”

Tracy, 19, was last seen alive at 11:30 p.m. Sept. 5 on Ranchero Drive near Oak Valley Drive in Pittsfield Township. The Ford Focus he was driving crashed into a parked truck. Tracy spoke with a person at the scene before walking away from the area.

He was reported missing the next day and a full-scale search began on Sept. 7, when police and volunteers searched the surrounding area. On Sept. 8, he was found in a retention pond at the Weatherstone Condominiums.

Three days later, medical examiner’s office officials confirmed his death. Since then, the official cause of death has been ruled undetermined. received Tracy’s official death certificate through a records request in November. The official cause of death is listed as “pending” on the certificate.

Harshberger said Thursday medical examiner’s office investigators want to do a second round of toxicology reports to test for more chemicals. The results of the initial round of toxicology reports are unknown.



Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 5:11 a.m.

For you second guessers and armchair ciminologists, I imagine if there was some sort of trauma on the body, it would be ruled a homicide. If he was murdered, I can think of easier ways than throwing someone in a pond, hoping they drown. If that was the case, do you not think he would fight tooth and nail to protect himself, therefore leaving some sort of defensive wounds on his body in the process?

Ann English

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 1:01 a.m.

If there still are no conclusive test results on the cause of death, it could not be simple drowning.


Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 4:44 a.m.

You're right: it couldn't have been a simple drowning. Cause of death was due to "no comment" and "results pending." After a suitable delay, the cause of death will be amended... to "cause unknown." We are entering the Twilight Zone of the Information Age now - which is why AAPD sent a platoon of cops and a fully equipped SWAT team to deal with "a mental illness issue" the other day. ;-)


Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 4:23 a.m.

Annie, you might want to let the cops know. It sounds like they can use your expertise.


Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

What were the results of the first toxicology report? Inconclusive, tested negative for A, B, C substances, etc? Some reporting here - at least a line where "investigators were asked the results of the first test, and declined to comment."


Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 4:23 a.m.

By law, the results of the first test cannot be released until a final cause of death is determined by the coroner.

music to my ear

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 2:35 a.m.

I never heard of the first test results either , and I never heard of test taking this long I really feel for his family,they want Nathan to be at peace.

Linda Peck

Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

I am praying for blessings for Nathan's family. What a tragic event in their lives. May their hearts mend.


Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 6:11 p.m.

"The investigation into the death of Milford teenager Nathan Tracy continues" "Dental records confirmed Tracy, of Trenton, was found Saturday morning after he was last seen at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday..." Milford? Trenton?

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 6:24 p.m.

EyeHeartA2 - It's Trenton, I've made that correction. My apologies.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

First and most important, my heart goes out to family and loved ones for their loss. While this is "old news" for many of us who did not know the young man I know the pain of the loss will never go away for family. ------------------ "We're still holding onto his vehicle in impound because they sent another round of toxicology tests for analysis," Harshberger said. "We're not at a point yet where we have a final determination on what the cause of death is." I am curious about the process or protocol here. What if there never is a final determination or the next round is inconclusive as well. How long is property held? In a hypothetical situation suppose its a late model (expensive) car with limited or no damage. Do the police routinely hold property indefinitely? These are curiosity questions... I have no agenda for you thumbs down fans. ;)


Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 4:35 a.m.

I regret to say, our police departments (around the state) are rather casual in the way they deal with other people's property. In the last 70s I learned the hard way about a pretty shady AAPD policy: I failed to call the police FIRST after my car was disabled. Instead, I focused on quickly calling a tow truck and my wife - so that she could make an emergency run to pick up our 4 year-old daughter and her 4 year-old friend from our stranding location. When I came back out from making those 2 calls with the little girls, I was "in time" to see my car ALREADY disappearing as it was towed away. The elapsed time, it turned out, was 8 minutes (absence from car). The police report claimed it was over 20 minutes - which was the "invisible" time limit imposed by AAPD. I was lucky - got the watch commander to review the tape of the patrol car radio report giving times of arrival and departure: which proved the "report" was false, since it was meant to account for the patrolman's time. That's the only way I got my "impoundment fee" refunded by the city. The only way I could get my car back (for work and for car pooling kids, etc, etc.). The attitude was: it's your fault because you didn't follow our UNPUBLISHED POLICY. So add "mind reading" to the list of citizen duties. ;-)

Jake C

Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

" Do the police routinely hold property indefinitely?" Yes they do. Sometimes property is quickly returned to the original owner, and sometimes it's basically kept and then auctioned off by the police even if no charges are ever filed. Sometimes the property belongs to a suspected criminal - I remember this happening with friends who were accused of being "hackers" or music pirates, and never had their computers returned to them by the local police or FBI even though they were never charged with anything. And sometimes the property belongs to a victim, such as this poor lady who was carjacked and then the police impounded her car for 2 months before she was able to get it back:

music to my ear

Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 1 p.m.

I hope they conclude soon to give his family closer.from time to time I too wonder what and why?