The couple flew into the Tampa International Airport from their layover in Atlanta just before midnight. They had been arguing. Chad took an elevator from the third floor of the main terminal to the 7th floor parking garage while she picked up their luggage from baggage claim. When Jessica returned to the main concourse with the luggage, Chad wasn't there. When she couldn't find him she alerted an airport security officer who organized a search party.
At ten o'clock the next morning airport maintenance workers found Chad Wolfe's body lying on top of an elevator car stopped at the third floor of the main terminal. In his pocket investigators found an empty Xanax bottle. (He had a prescription for Xanax and Paxil.)
Investigators found, on the seventh floor not far from the bank of elevators, Chad's cellphone and carry-on case. This discovery raised questions of what Chad was doing in the parking garage, and how his body end up on top of the third floor elevator car.
The authorities who looked into this mysterious death, certainly a suspicious one, came to the conclusion that Chad Wolfe had somehow accidentally fallen down the elevator shaft. But the young man's father, Garland Wolfe, didn't believe his 150 pound son had the strength to pry open the elevator doors. Don Cassell, an elevator expert, agreed. According to Mr. Cassell, opening the doors of a working elevator with one's bare hands was next to impossible.
Jessica Price revealed that Chad had taken a Xanax pill to ease his anxiety about flying, He had also consumed a drink on the plane. Did her confused boyfriend go to the parking garage to smoke a cigarette? Still, how did he get into the elevator shaft?
In May 2013, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner issued the report on Chad Wolfe's death. The cause of this young man's demise went into the books as "blunt force impact to the head and neck." The manner of death: an accident.
According to the medical examiner's report, the deceased had Alprozolam and Paxil in his system. In the report, a forensic investigator wrote: "It appears the deceased forced open an elevator door to gain entry into the elevator shaft."
According to a report submitted months later by the airport, witnesses on Wolfe's flight from Atlanta to Tampa said that Wolfe had been drinking alcohol, popping pills and acting rudely on the plane. At the airport, a witness saw a belligerent man banging on the seventh floor elevator door. Tampa airport detective Kevin Durkin, the lead investigator in the case, concluded that Wolfe forced open the landing doors on the elevator. He then wrapped his arms and legs aground "the elevator cable inside the shaft with the intention to slide down the cable to the elevator car roof. As he descended down the elevator cable, friction wounds caused him to let go."
Detective Durkin concluded that Wolfe had fallen and died when he landed on the top of the elevator car.