Still A Mystery is investigating the suspected murder of National Guardsman Tyler Smith, who was found dead after a night out with friends in Galesburg, Illinois, in 2018.
On September 15th, 2018, 23-year-old Tyler Smith failed to turn up at training with the National Guard. His remains were found later that evening in a shallow drainage canal in Galesburg.
Smith was a man who had big plans for himself. The Illinois native had recently been accepted into the San Jose Police Academy, and he was all set to make the move out to California. He had just stopped in Galesburg to see some friends before taking care of his duties with the National Guard.
Smith had been out drinking with friends but had subsequently become separated from his buddies. He had sent text messages saying he was lost and didn’t know where he was.
An autopsy ruled that he had been intoxicated and ruled out any foul play. The cops later ruled that he had suffered a drunken fall and had died from accidental drowning.
However, Smith’s family never accepted this ruling. They argued that his injuries indicated that he had been involved in a struggle and that the positioning of his body indicated he had been pinned. They also pointed to witnesses who said Smith had appeared sober and in control.
The family’s assertions were backed up by an expert assessment by retired Cook County, IL. homicide detective Drake Mitchell, who also argued that the local Galesburg PD had failed to properly gather evidence.
Tyler Smith case was finally reopened
Smith’s family kept the case within the public eye and continuously requested help with the case from law enforcement authorities. Finally they were rewarded in September 2020, three years after his death, the Illinois State Police Department of Criminal Investigations announced that it had become involved in the investigation.
A second autopsy has since been performed, but as yet, the results have not been released.
There is a reward of up to $100,000 for any information that can solve the case. Members of the public are asked to contact the Illinois State Police Zone 2 Investigations at 815-632-4010, Ext 230.
More from Still A Mystery
Follow the links to read about more unsolved murders profiled on Still A Mystery.
Glinda Pulley and her 10-year-old son, Tyler Jones, were found dead from a shotgun blast at their home near Hollister in North Carolina. The cops ruled that Tyler was the perpetrator of a murder-suicide, but family members say there’s no way the child would have killed his mother.
Nanette Krentel’s dead body was found amongst the burnt-out remains of her home in St. Tammany Parish in Louisianna. The investigators were further shocked to find she had been shot in the head. Suspicion immediately fell on her Fire Chief husband, but as yet, the cops have been unable to prove who was the killer.
Still A Mystery airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.