State police identify man in death investigation as Sullivan County coroner

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana State Police on Tuesday identified the man found dead in a vehicle Monday as Sullivan County Coroner Tracy Lee Tackett, adding that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Around 9:30 a.m. Monday, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office received a call that Tackett had suddenly left an apartment he shared with his then girlfriend.

It was unclear on Saturday whether Tackett intended to leave town or if he intended to cause himself harm.

Tackett had been the subject of an Indiana State Police investigation that began last Thursday, however, there were no active arrest warrants for Tackett when he left.

Being that Tackett was reported a missing person, it allowed investigators to enter both he and his vehicle into a nationwide computer database. Alerts were sent out to surrounding law enforcement agencies, and officers immediately began canvassing the county.

Investigators contacted Tackett’s local and out of town family and friends to see if he had reached out to anyone. Sheriff Clark Cottom attempted to locate Tackett’s vehicle through GPS technology to no avail. The Sheriff said Tackett had no cellphone in his possession when he left the residence.

On Saturday afternoon, Sheriff Cottom asked pilots at the Sullivan County Airport to be on the lookout for Tackett’s white Dodge pickup. Cottom also arranged for the Indiana State Police Aviation Section to conduct an aerial search of the county.

Throughout the weekend, Sullivan County deputies and conservation officers searched rural areas, including the Greene Sullivan State Forest. Conservation Officers also searched bodies of water in both Sullivan and Greene Counties.

Sheriff’s officials continued their search around the clock Sunday into Monday.

On Monday afternoon around 4:20 p.m., Sheriff Cottom was searching a rural area just off C.R. 300 N., near C.R. 225 E., when he came across a white Dodge pickup similar to Tackett’s pulled into a remote area. Cottom discovered a deceased male sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle.

Indiana State Police and Vigo County Coroner’s Office were immediately summoned to the scene. An autopsy was conducted at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday at Terre Haute Regional Hospital, where the body was positively identified as Tracy Lee Tackett, 56.

Through the course of the investigation and analysis of all the evidence presented to crime scene investigators and detectives, the evidence shows that Tackett died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

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