Tuesday, October 19, 2010
NY investigator found dead in Atlantic City casino garage
A top Department of Investigation official was found dead today of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in his car in an Atlantic City casino parking lot -- hours after New York City police alerted cops there that he was missing, authorities said.
The dead man, Christopher Staackmann, 50, had been the DOI's inspector general, responsible for investigations into the operations of the city's Health Department and Medical Examiner's office.
DOI spokesman Diane Struzzi, without confirming that Staackmann was the agency employee found dead in Atlantic City, said '"We are shocked and devastated at the loss of a wonderful colleague. This is a tragic and personal matter."
Staackmann, who lived in Brooklyn, had earlier been reported missing by his family, an NYPD spokesman said today.
At 10 p.m. last night, the NYPD contacted Atlantic City police and asked them to be on the lookout for Staackmann, who was described as endangered or missing, said Atlantic City police spokeswoman Sgt. Monica McMenamin.
The NYPD also urged its counterparts in Atlantic City to use caution in looking out for Staackmann because he had a gun as part of his DOI job.
At 12:26 a.m. today, Atlantic City cops were notified by a security supervisor at Ceasar's casino that Staackmann had been found dead in a tan Honda parked on the seventh level of that casino's parking garage, McMenamin said.
Staackmann was in the driver seat, with a single wound to his head, she said.
A handgun was found on the passenger side of the car, and a bag was also found on the front seat, police said.
McMenamin said police do not suspect foul play. She also said she was not aware of why Staackmann may have taken his own life.
An autopsy is being conducted by the Atlantic County [NJ] medical examiner.
According to sources, surveillance video from earlier in the day inside Ceasar's spotted Staackmann moving around the casino.