The cold case death of Chad Maurer - Madison, Wisconsin - May 19, 1990

On May 19 1990, 19-year-old Chad Maurer came home briefly to have lunch before heading back to work. The boy just got a new job at a bike shop called Village Pedaler, in Madison, Wisconsin. Chad was a handsome young man who was popular as a student and loved to engage in extreme sports such as BMX and snowboarding. He was currently saving money to move to Colorado for college and snowboarding.

After eating his lunch at home on Simpson Street in Monona, a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin, he soon drove back to the store. According to his parents, there was nothing strange about him and he behaved completely normal. They didn't know then that it was the last time they had said goodbye to each other.

Some time later, his parents, John and Dolly Maurer decided they would go to the hardware store. Coincidentally, the store was only two doors down from the Village Pedelar. As the couple drove by, however, they immediately noticed that John's Mustang, the car Chad had driven to work, was not in the parking lot. Concerned, they took a look at the bicycle shop, which was very busy at the time. They notice that Chad is not there. John and Dolly immediately sensed that something was wrong. Their son was no saint, but not showing up to his new job after two days was not in his character.

19-year-old found dead
Chad's parents return home worried from their unexpected visit to the bike shop. Why hadn't he shown up for work? Could he have had an accident? Or had he been the victim of a crime? They don't hear from their son for the next few days, and the worries only grew when it became clear that none of his friends had any idea where he was. Three days after his disappearance, the unthinkable happened. Dolly and John got a call from the Chicago Police Department. The cold voice on the other end of the line informed them that their son was dead, and that it was suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. He was found dead in his car by a maintenance worker in a garage in the infamous south side of Chicago, Wentworth Gardens. More than 150 miles from his home.

His parents couldn't believe their ears. According to them, their son would never commit suicide, he was much too happy for that. He was excited about his future, and had lots of plans. After John and Dolly saw their son's body in the funeral home, they knew for sure it wasn't suicide. They clearly saw injuries to his face and knuckles, as if he had resisted a fight. After the couple were shown the clothes Chad was wearing when he was found dead, they noticed that the garment had bloodstains on it. In addition, in Chicago police photos of the crime scene, they saw there was a denim jacket on the co-driver's seat that did not belong to Chad at all. It was reason enough to go to the Madison police. They asked the Chicago police for the jacket, but it turned out to be lost...

Cause of death undetermined
When the autopsy report came in, it was read carefully. It stated that the amount of carbon monoxide in Chad's body was 74%. However, that was much higher than what would normally be found in a suicide. In such a case, the percentages are usually between 50 and 65%. In this case, it indicated that Chad was presumably unconscious when he inhaled the carbon monoxide. People who are asleep or unconscious breathe deeper, which also gives you larger percentages. Due to the facts, Chad's cause of death was changed from suicide to undetermined.

This change prompted an intensified investigation into the 19-year-old's death. The owner of the bicycle shop was heard by the police as an acquaintance / witness. He said he had the feeling that Chad had been frightened by an unknown person. A local newspaper agency picked up on this and wrote about it in the newspaper. Eight days after the interview, the bike shop was vandalized by someone with a firearm. No other stores were harassed. Only later would it turn out that the attack on the store had nothing to do with Chad's case.

Anonymous tip
Thanks to a Crime Stoppers broadcast in Madison, an anonymous tip came in about Chad's death. According to the tipster, the boy had been involved in a drug deal with people from his apartment complex. When detectives investigated these people, they were found to have previously lived in the area where Chad was eventually found dead in Chicago. 

The tip led the police to believe that Chad may have been involved, knowingly or unknowingly, in the trade of banned substances. The Chicago to Madison route is well known in the fight against drugs. Authorities theorized that Chad may have refused to cooperate any longer for whatever reason, and a fight broke out in which the boy would have been killed. It was a theory that could not be confirmed at the time.

Later, one of Chad's friends allegedly told his mother that Chad once told him that in 1989 he was paid twice to bring a drug dealer to Milwaukee. The fact that most homicides in Chicago are related in some way to drugs seems to indicate that Chad's death was directly or indirectly related as well.

Information and Tips
Unfortunately, Chad Maurer's case is still unsolved. His parents are now divorced, but continue to search tirelessly for answers. What the case needs? New information. Do you think you know more about this boy's death? Then don't hesitate and let us know now.

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