New details in mysterious death at TIA - FOX 13 News

New details in mysterious death at TIA

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Don Cassell, who works on elevators for a living, says the elevator door should not have opened if the car wasn't behind the door. Don Cassell, who works on elevators for a living, says the elevator door should not have opened if the car wasn't behind the door.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

As investigators try to figure out the bizarre circumstances surrounding 31-year-old Chad Wolfe's death, his family is struggling to cope with the sudden loss.

His grandmother Grace Wolfe spoke about the tragedy on Saturday.

"It's really bad, they're all really just broke up about it," she explained during a telephone interview. "He's a great kid; he was good to everybody."

The Pennsylvania man's body was discovered early Friday morning inside an elevator shaft at Tampa International Airport. It was found on top of one of the cars in the Armstrong bank of elevators inside the parking garage.

Investigators say Wolfe arrived at TIA with his girlfriend on a flight from Atlanta, Georgia. Family members say the couple had plans to take part in Bike Week festivities in Daytona Beach.

While details are still sketchy, it is believed that Wolf rode the elevator from the 3rd to the 7th floor at the short-term parking garage. His luggage and cell phone were located on the 7th floor.

That's where the mystery begins.

How did his body end up inside of the elevator shaft?

Elevator expert Don Cassell says opening the doors of a working elevator with your bare hands is nearly impossible.

"There's no way [to do it], there's just no way," he says.

In order to do so you need a special key and you have to know where to look to make it happen. Cassell, like most everyone else, is wondering what happened outside the elevator doors just prior to Wolfe getting inside the shaft.

"They're pretty safe but you see all the stuff in the movies, such as the elevator [car] not being there and the door opens," Cassell adds. "It's not true. [Scenarios like that] can't happen."

Officials at TIA say there are no surveillance cameras on the 7th floor of the garage. It is also unclear where Wolfe's girlfriend was when the fatal incident occurred.

Travelers entering the facility on Saturday after hearing about the tragedy, say it is hard not to think about it.

"I just feel like it was a tragic event," said Mike Foley. "I don't know how he got in there."

And so far neither do authorities. Wolfe's body was transported to the Medical Examiner's Office to determine an official cause of death.

The investigation continues.


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