Sometimes very strange and dark things are found even in a case that at first glance seems to be a very simple everyday accident. Todd Gabe, 22, lived in Wyoming and had a very good life. He had a decent position at the local company Hager Distribution, Inc, was fond of sports, led an active lifestyle, and had many friends and acquaintances.
Everyone who knew him described him as a very sweet and friendly young man, intelligent and sociable. He did not have any known enemies, he rarely quarreled with anyone, so it was difficult even to imagine that a very strange death awaited him soon.
On Saturday, June 11, 2005, around 7:30 pm, Todd left the apartment he rented with his cousin to go to Half Moon Grill. There, at 9:30 pm, he met with a group of his friends and then drove with them to an apple orchard, located two miles from Wild Road in the hamlet of Kasnovia.
In this garden, they planned to host an all-night summer party with several kegs of beer. One of his friends drove up to Todd’s garden. Until about 00:45 everything was in order, but then the tipsy young people quarreled and even fought, after which Todd felt uncomfortable and left. He called the same friend who gave him a lift to tell him not to come back for him, as he decided to walk home.
None of Todd’s friends took it as something dangerous, because Todd knew the whole area well. Walking a few miles at night seemed like no problem to anyone.
So Todd started walking, presumably along the side of the highway. Then between 00:47 and 00:57 (that is when he moved away from the apple orchard quite a bit), he made a series of phone calls, which were already, to put it mildly, a little strange. In one, he called a friend and simply said, “I’ve had enough.” In another, he simply said, “I’m in the field,” before the phone went off.
A worried friend of Todd called him back immediately and the call was answered, but all he heard was heavy breathing or a gust of wind before the call ended again.
After that, Todd’s phone was reportedly no longer used and no further calls were received from him. This would be the last time anyone heard of Todd and he went missing.
The next day, when Todd never returned to his brother’s house, a massive search was launched, including about 1,500 police officers and volunteers, as well as planes searched the apple orchard and the area around the party site, and section of the road that Todd took to get home.
They found nothing even after three thorough searches in the area. Todd’s friends who were interrogated seemed unaware of what happened to him after he left the apple orchard. And they did not hear or see anything unusual at night. It seemed that Todd Gabe had simply disappeared from the face of the earth.
On July 2, 2005, three weeks after his disappearance, the body of Todd Gabe was found. And the circumstances of his death were also very strange.
First, the body was found in Lake Ovidhall, which is about two miles from Todd’s house and not far from the apple orchard, that is, right in the center of the area that the search parties thoroughly combed.
In addition, it was reported that the body was found “standing” in the water upright and that its head and shoulders, with scratches and bruises, were visible above the surface of the water. It’s like he was swimming in a lake and just froze.
Oddly enough, he was fully clothed and with a wallet in his pocket, so the big question was, how did he get into this lake and end up dead?
An autopsy did not reveal any dangerous external damage to Todd, but his blood alcohol content was 0.12, prompting authorities to recognize this as an accidental drowning while intoxicated.
It was suggested that he received several blows during a fight at a party, which explained the presence of bruises on his head and shoulders, and then went home, but due to alcohol he got lost, got to the lake, decided to swim, and drowned.
Given the alcohol level in his body, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable conclusion, but what about the strange calls he made before disappearing, and how his body was not found during a search operation in this area? The lake is small and a human corpse floating in the water would be seen immediately.
It was also odd that usually drowned people would lie face down in the water, and Todd somehow stood upright. Which, by the way, looked pretty creepy.
Despite the incomprehensible details, in the eyes of the authorities, the case was closed. However, some people did not like this state of affairs, including the family of Todd Gabe. She continued to ask the authorities many questions about why Todd even decided to go to the lake, if he intended to go home, why he climbed into the water fully clothed, and so on. Even considering that Todd was slightly drunk, this behavior was completely illogical.
An independent investigation was then ordered by forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Sikirika, and it was found that although Gabe had been away for 3 weeks, he had been dead for only 2 to 5 days at the time his body was found.
It was also established that Gabe did not have water in his lungs, and there was a lot of evidence indicating that the body was placed in the water after death.
Dr. Eric Benbow, a Michigan State University forensic biologist who re-examined Todd’s case, wrote about his body condition:
“There should have been more biofilms (microorganisms covering the surface), there should have been more mucus. It also looks like part of his head was outdoors. There should be insects in his clothes, even in his mouth, in his ears and ears, in folds This is where these flies usually lay their eggs and have evolved to be attracted to dead creatures from minutes to hours to a day.
We didn’t see any of this in Todd’s shirt. The corpses are consumed rather quickly and abruptly. If the body were in the water for a long time, it would be inhabited by some kind of aquatic insect. Given our experiment, I find it very surprising that no insect activity was found in Todd’s body, and no algae growth was found in his clothes. Based on our research, it is unlikely that his clothes and his body were in the water for just 21 days. “
This pretty much suggests that Todd’s body was placed in the water shortly before being found, distracting from the official verdict that it was a drunken death.
This has also been confirmed by other experts, and they all strongly point to the possibility that Gabe was in fact killed. However, Michigan State Police never reopened the case, much to the dismay of Todd Gabe’s family.
Later it turned out that Todd had traces of antidepressants – amitriptyline and desipramine in his body, although they were never prescribed to him, and it is not known why he took them and how they had to do with all this.
It is possible that they were given to Todd against his will, during the days when he was held captive by someone, and given the fact that they can cause side effects such as hallucinations, confusion, agitation, cardiac arrest, coma, etc. as well as convulsions, this, of course, seems very suspicious.
Katie Gabe, Todd’s mother, fought to reopen the case for several years, but authorities refused to do so, despite evidence against accidental drowning.
We may never know what happened to Todd Gabe and what his last calls really meant. What could have happened to him? Why was no evidence found, and why was the whole thing conveniently treaed as drowning, despite all the ominous evidence to the contrary?
There is a theory that Todd Gabe is a possible victim of the so-called Smiley Face Killers, an alleged network of unknown serial killers who target college-age males and who most often dump their bodies into nearby waterways before leave graffiti smileys at the places of their death. Although it is not known for certain whether a smiley face was found in the Ovidhall Lake area.
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