Only on FOX61: Calls for further investigation into East Granby soldier’s death

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HARTFORD --  The family and friends of a Connecticut soldier hit and killed by a car in Tennessee last year are crying foul over his death.

Austin McGeough, 21 of East Granby, was an Army Specialist stationed at Ft. Campbell, TN.

In the early hours of October 15, 2016, Cheatham County investigators said McGeough left a house party in the town of Pleasant View, drunk and on drugs. They said he broke into a nursery, called 911 to report being chased by bees and ran onto Highway 41-A, where he was hit by a car and killed.

McGeough's death was ruled an accident, but Jane Barter, a close friend of the family, said the family disagrees.

"All they did was jump to the conclusion very quickly that it was Austin that had done this," said Barter, adding that this was a case of manslaughter and not a tragic accident.

Barter said the family is convinced someone was chasing McGeough.

According to phone records, McGeough made his first 911 call at 3:13 a.m., saying, "Help me. Help me, please." When dispatch asked McGeough for his location, he was unable to provide it, and said he would call back. Multiple subsequent 911 calls detail McGeough attempting to somehow send dispatch his location.

Just before 3:30 a.m., McGeough called 911 saying someone wanted to kidnap him and that he is not insane. When the 911 operator again tried to find his location to send help, McGeough said he was fine and had found everyone.

Around 3:45 a.m., 911 managed to ping McGeough's location through AT&T and requested a welfare check in his area.

At 3:58 a.m., 18-year-old Emily Prisock made a frantic call to 911.

"I just hit somebody on the road," said Prisock in the 911 recording obtained by FOX61. "I don't know where I am. They are dead. They are literally dead."

According to police records, the impact from Prisock's car immediately killed McGeough on Highway 41-A, a quarter mile from the party he had attended. Two other cars subsequently ran over his body and continued driving. Neither car was ever found.

A review of McGeough's 911 calls by FOX61 revealed no mention of bees. McGeough's autopsy report said he was not stung.

McGeough's toxicology report did note the presence of alcohol and oxycodone. McGeough had been legally prescribed percocet just days prior after having his wisdom teeth extracted.

Barter said the family questions why it took 911 so long to request a welfare check after McGeough's initial 3:13 a.m. emergency call.

"Whether you're drunk or insane or homeless or the Chief Executive of Aetna, when you call 911, you should be rendered aid," said Barter.

They also question why Emily Prisock, who was driving an uninsured car, was barely investigated.

"They never interviewed anyone that Emily was with that night," said Barter. "They would not even get her phone records."

The police report notes that EMT's could not draw Prisock's blood to check for alcohol because she was dehydrated and shocked.

Barter said the family also finds Prisock's testimony to police inconsistent. In her written statement, Prisock said, in part, "there was a guy standing in the road. I started slowing down. It looked like the guy was trying to wave me down. The guy then stepped in front of my car and I hit him."

In the police report, however, Prisock is noted as telling investigators that the victim appeared "from out of nowhere suddenly."

"We're still looking for explanations as to why law enforcement are not and have not investigated this case as murder," said Barter.

Barter said the family has since hired a private investigator and recently began offering a reward for information in Tennessee. They remain on a mission to find justice and closure.

"We have to have answers before we have peace," said Barter.

The family has now filed a civil lawsuit against Emily Prisock; John Taylor, owner of the car Prisock was driving; Laura Butler, the teen who hosted the party Austin attended before his death, and the Butler family.