Police: Fight with son led to former trooper's death

News-DemocratJanuary 29, 2014 

A 36-year-old Swansea man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound the day after his father, a retired Illinois State Police trooper, was found dead in their Swansea home, according to officials.

Investigators with the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis said a physical altercation between David A. Daughtrey, 61, and his son Jarad L. Daughtrey took place in their home in the 200 block of Mimosa Avenue Monday and directly contributed to David Daughtrey's death.

St. Clair County Deputy Coroner Danny Haskenhoff said an autopsy conducted Wednesday did not reveal a cause of death for David Daughtrey, who died late Monday.

"It's undetermined right now until toxicology and further investigation into the whole incident," Haskenhoff said. "It's nothing obvious at this time."

David Daughtrey had health problems, according to Haskenhoff.

Jarad Daughtrey died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Haskenhoff said. Routine toxicology results will be performed, with results expected in four to six weeks.

Jarad Daughtrey had been sought by police since the body of David Daughtrey was found in their shared residence at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Swansea. No one else lived at the residence.

Swansea Deputy Police Chief Craig Coughlin said the body of David Daughtrey was discovered during a well-being check requested by a family friend. Suspicious circumstances at the scene prompted police to activate the Major Case Squad. However, police have not called it a homicide.

Late Tuesday night, police sought the public's help in locating David Daughtrey's son Jarad Daughtrey, who was identified as a person of interest.

Jarad Daughtrey was located early Wednesday morning at the Trailway Motel in Fairview Heights. The St. Clair County Tactical Response Team had brief communications with Jarad Daughtrey while he was in the motel room, according to police.

When he stopped responding or communicating, the Response Team made entry into the room on the ground floor and found Jarad Daughtrey dead, police said.

David Daughtrey's black Chrysler Town and Country van, which had been reported missing, was located at the motel at 10039 Lincoln Trail.

PREVIOUS BATTERY CHARGE

Jarad Daughtrey and his father had experienced domestic issues in the past. Jarad Daughtrey was convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery against David Daughtrey in 2012. According to court records, Jarad Daughtrey held a cane to David Daughtrey's throat. Jarad Daughtrey served six days in prison and paid a $500 fine.

Jarad Daughtrey has made recent comments about committing suicide, Coughlin said, but he wouldn't elaborate any further.

Illinois State Police spokesman Calvin Dye Jr. said David Daughtrey was an Illinois State Police trooper for 25 years. David Daughtrey was assigned to District 11, which serves the counties of Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair. He retired in 2002.

The Major Case Squad is continuing to investigate this case and anyone with additional information is encouraged to call the Major Case Squad at 618-234-3291 or the Swansea Police Department at 618-233-8114.

NEIGHBORS' REACTION

Neighbor Dawn Schaefer said David Daughtrey was active with a backyard garden when he moved into his Swansea neighborhood, a little more than a decade ago.

"He was very proud of his garden," she said. "He would call us over to look at some new plant he grew every once in awhile."

But after a stroke a few years ago, Daughtrey had trouble getting around.

"After that, we'd mostly see him coming or going in his van," Dawn Schaefer said. "He'd always wave and say hi. And he loved to talk to my 9-year-old son."

David Daughtrey's wife, 49-year-old Helen, died in March from cancer.

Scott Schaefer, the husband of Dawn Schaefer, said he never saw any problems between the elder Daughtrey and his son.

"It was hard to tell sometimes if the son still lived there," he said. "You wouldn't see him much outside except in the summertime when it was grass cutting time."

Dawn Schaefer said she sometimes saw the younger Daughtrey come and go in his father's car.

"He wasn't as friendly," she said. "It's not that he was mean or nasty. He just didn't say hi or wave."

After his retirement from the state police, Daughtrey took a job at Walmart in O'Fallon. He stayed on as a greeter despite trouble he had getting around after his stroke.

Jessica Motsinger, who lived across the street from the Daughtrey residence, agreed that David Daughtrey was the neighborhood nice guy.

"When I saw him he always had a smile and a wave," Motsinger said. "Even when he was having a tough time with things, you wouldn't know it."

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 618-239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com and reporter Scott Wuerz at 618-239-2626 or swuerz@bnd.com.

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