Delaware police provide update on death investigation

In an effort to be as transparent as possible, New Castle County Police released an update this morning on the death investigation of Ty Sawyer.

“We just wanted to let everyone know the process involved in any investigation such as this. We’re not trying to hide anything,” said Officer Tom Jackson, department spokesman. “We’re giving information as we can, but we’re still trying to protect the integrity of the investigation.”

The update comes two days after several hundred supporters of the 20-year-old and his family protested in the streets of Middletown. Sawyer’s family and marchers demanded justice, accusing the NCCPD of not doing enough.

According to articles in The News Journal, mom Lisa Sawyer blames University of Delaware sophomore Patrick Downey for her son’s death last month. She said the two fought at a party in the Misty Vale Farms development near Odessa on April 26, which resulted in Sawyer’s death. Jackson would not comment whether Downey was a person of interest in the investigation. 

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But Jackson said an investigation into any suspicious death takes time and hinges on autopsy results. Detectives, he said, are still waiting on the determination of the cause and manner of death from the Division of Forensic Science. 

The update explained, “These findings are key to determining if the death can be proven to be attributed to criminal activity. Information from DFS, along with facts and evidence obtained by police detectives, are then presented to the Attorney General’s office for their review. The Attorney General’s office then makes the final determination as to what if any criminal offenses are applicable.”

“Our detectives have been working continuously since the first day to gather all the evidence and interview all the persons who witnessed or were involved in this incident. This case was never closed and we are still actively seeking any and all information including photographs and videos that may have been taken,” said NCCPD Chief Col. E.M. Setting, in defense of his department.

NCC police are asking anyone with videos, photos, or any relevant information to contact the Criminal Investigations Unit at (302) 395-8110 or (302) 573-2800 or submit tips online.

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