The U.S. Department of State has launched an investigation into the death of Desmond Crutchfield, a 31-year-old contractor working on a fiber optics technology project for the U.S. Army in Germany. Crutchfield died after falling five stories from his hotel window, officials in Germany said.
His mother, Carolyn Gilreath, received the heartbreaking news 11 days after he bid her farewell. She was informed by two officers who handed her a piece of paper directing her to contact the U.S. Consulate for further information.
When Crutchfield’s remains were returned from Germany, they had decomposed significantly, making identification difficult. Gilreath expressed disappointment with the handling of his remains, as they were hastily sent on a long flight to Atlanta without proper attention.
Upon examining her son’s remains, Gilreath noticed frontal lobe injury trauma and significant swelling on his left side jaw. The only recognizable item was a turtle necklace he was wearing. She is desperate for answers about the circumstances of his death, but German officials have been reluctant to provide her with the details she seeks, saying that the official report is reserved for law enforcement officers.
The U.S. Department of State, on the other hand, has assured the family of its willingness to offer all necessary assistance, which usually includes locating and informing next of kin, repatriating the remains to the U.S., and providing burial information. They have stated their commitment to providing appropriate consular assistance in such situations, as reported by WSB TV.
Gilreath recalled that Crutchfield had sent her a text message on Mother’s Day to let her know he had arrived safely in Germany. He also posted a video on Facebook showcasing the views from his Munich hotel room. However, after some time, he stopped responding to her calls and messages, which she found very unusual.
In light of the tragic incident, Crutchfield’s family is seeking closure and answers about what happened to him while he was working in Germany. They hope that the investigation by the U.S. Department of State and any relevant authorities will shed light on the circumstances surrounding his death and bring them some measure of peace.