More than two months after 21-year-old U.S. Navy servicemember Séamus Gray first disappeared and a month after his body was found in Waukegan Harbor, a new coroner’s report shows the manner of death in his case is “undetermined.”
According to a spokesperson for the Lake County Coroner’s office, no significant injuries were found on Gray’s body and toxicology testing discovered a blood alcohol concentration of 0.14, well over the legal driving limit but below what medical professionals consider to be a “life-threatening” amount.
A preliminary autopsy had already determined Gray’s cause of death to be drowning, but the official report had been pending toxicology results.
“Based on the overall police, NCIS and Coroner’s investigation the manner of death is ‘Undetermined,'” Steve Newton, chief deputy with the Lake County Coroner’s office.
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Gray’s body was found on April 19 when a group of ComEd workers doing routine work near the harbor said they saw a body in the Lake Michigan water.
Officials said the body and clothing matched the description of Gray, who went missing on March 18. The Lake County Coroner’s Office later identified Gray as the victim in the case.
“On behalf of the city of Waukegan, I extend our deepest condolences to the family of Séamus Gray,” Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor said in a statement. “As a mother, I can’t begin to imagine feeling the sadness and pain that Seamus’ family has and will endure. Our prayers are with Mr. Gray’s family.”
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His mysterious disappearance led to large search efforts from multiple departments as authorities struggled to find answers in the case.
According to authorities, Gray, a sailor stationed at the Naval Station Great Lakes, was last seen around 1:35 a.m. on March 18 leaving Ibiza Nightclub, located at 17 N. Genesee St. in Waukegan, about 40 miles north of Chicago.
Gray’s disappearance was first noted when he didn’t report back to the Naval Station Great Lakes base at his scheduled 2 a.m. time Saturday, officials said.
Newly released surveillance video from outside the bar where Seamus Gray, 21, went missing, shows Gray just before 2 a.m. standing and talking to a group of people. At one point in the video, Gray is seen on the ground. At another point, someone in the group appears to take Gray’s wallet from his pocket, but then throws it back at him. Later in the video, Gray is seen taking off down a nearby alley.
Security footage from outside Ibiza nightclub shows Gray just before 2 a.m. standing and talking to a group of people. At one point in the video, Gray is seen on the ground. At another point, someone in the group appears to grab the wallet from Gray’s pocket, but then throws it back at him.
Later in the video, Gray is seen taking off down a nearby alley.
In a press conference, Ibiza manager Adrian Hernandez said Gray entered the nightclub twice early Saturday morning, but was ultimately escorted out for being too intoxicated.
Hernandez added that Gray got into at least two altercations outside the bar.
“It’s just a sad situation for us,” Hernandez said. “We just want him to be found … we just want to cooperate in any way we can. We’re doing everything we can to cooperate with the police investigation with the family.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Gray’s whereabouts, it wasn’t until 2 p.m. on March 21 that Waukegan police say they were notified of Gray’s disappearance.
“It wasn’t until some days later that they had some information that they uncovered that determined that he was in fact in Waukegan the early morning hours of [March 18],” Waukegan Deputy Chief Brian Mullen said during an update in the case.
Once Waukegan police did learn of Gray’s disappearance, Mullen said they “jumped into action almost immediately” and began a search of areas where he was last seen.
Mullen said detectives spoke to some individuals who were with Gray that night. However, they reported they did not see him or hear from him after he left the bar.
Authorities said additional surveillance video also showed Gray at the lakefront the night he went missing.
“We received some more video down here at the lakefront from some of the businesses at the marinas that were showing Séamus right on the water’s edge,” Mullen said. “And so we focused our efforts searching the water again.”
Mullen said Gray’s phone has not shown any activity since his disappearance.
Search efforts in recent weeks have centered on Lake Michigan waters in the northern Chicago suburb, where Gray went missing.