Real Name: Chad Lee Maurer
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Date: May 19, 1990
Details: Nineteen-year-old Chad Maurer worked at a bicycle shop in Madison, Wisconsin. He hoped to save enough money to attend college in Colorado. On May 19, 1990, Chad had lunch at his house and then left for work; his parents did not notice anything unusual about his behavior. About an hour later, his parents drove to the bike shop and noticed that his car wasn't there. They learned that Chad never showed up at work. His parents could find no trace of him.
Two days later, a maintenance worker found Chad dead inside his car in a garage on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. An autopsy determined that he had died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Chicago police ruled his death a suicide, but his family could not believe this. When his family viewed his body at the funeral home, they saw evidence of injuries to his knuckles and face. His parents were then shown the clothes he was wearing when he was found dead; there were large bloodstains on the shirt.
Chad's parents contacted the Madison police. They reviewed the photos taken by the Chicago police and noticed another discrepancy. A jean jacket was in the car; however, his parents remembered that he did not take a jacket with him, nor did he own a jacket like the one found in his car.
When the Madison police contacted the Chicago police, they learned that the jacket had been lost. More inconsistencies were found in the autopsy report; the report stated that the amount of carbon monoxide found in his body was 74%, which is much higher than what would normally be found during a suicide. The higher levels suggest that Chad was unconscious when he breathed in the carbon monoxide.
The cause of Chad's death was then changed from suicide to undetermined. Authorities questioned Chad's boss at the bike shop; he claimed that Chad was frightened by an unknown individual. Eight days after the interview, the bike shop was vandalized.
On October 22, 1990, Chad's story was aired on a local Crime Stoppers program in Madison. After the broadcast, an anonymous tipster alleged that Chad was involved in a drug deal with people from his apartment complex in Madison. Interestingly, these same individuals had previously lived in the area where Chad's body was found in Chicago.
Authorities believe that Chad may have been involved in narcotics trafficking, and that he was offered an amount of money to take the drugs to Chicago. When the individuals backed out on the deal, a fight broke out and Chad was left in his car to die. However, no one has come forward to verify this theory. Chad's family and both the Madison and Chicago police are still hoping for a resolution to his case.
Suspects: Authorities suspect that drug trafficking may have been involved in Chad's death. They suspect that the people in Chad's apartment complex may have more information on the case.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on the December 11, 1991 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Unsolved. The shots fired into the bike shop after the interview regarding Chad's death were later determined to not be connected to this case. Chad's parents divorced in 2007, but they are both still searching for a resolution to his case.
- Chad Maurer on Unsolved.com
- Chad Maurer at Find a Grave
- First Ruled Suicide, Now A Puzzle
- Piece by Painful Piece, Parents Tackle the Puzzle of Son's Death
- Twenty-five Years - Remembering Chad