HARTFORD -- A Connecticut military mom is continuing to fight for justice for her son, killed in Tennessee.
Austin McGeough, a 21-year-old soldier from East Granby, was hit and killed by a car in the early morning hours of October 15, 2016 on a highway in Tennessee.
He was stationed at Ft. Campbell.
McGeough’s death was ruled an accident, but his family vehemently disagrees.
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 the highway, where he was hit by one driver and then run over by two more.
McGeough’s 911 calls make no mention of bees, and the medical examiner concluded he had never been stung.
McGeough’s family is convinced that someone was chasing him and that investigators did not do a thorough job.
“This is just a disgusting case of pick and choose what you investigate and who you’re connected to,” said Jane Barter, a family friend of McGeough’s, who has become the family’s unofficial spokesperson.
Barter said police are ignoring new information into McGeough’s death that the family has turned over to investigators months ago.
McGeough’s family hired Stutchman Forensic Lab in California to analyze his 911 calls. The lab concluded that there were other people around Austin when he was in trouble.
An email report from the lab obtained by FOX61 said in part:
“It is clear that there were other individuals in close enough proximity to the caller to be picked up by his phone’s microphone.”
“From that analysis, we have ascertained that Austin was chased by two males,” said Barter. She and the family say that those voices prove Austin was chased by people, not bees."
Barter and McGeough’s mother, Kim Read, also hired a private investigator, who they said tracked down the third driver who ran over Austin’s body. Barter claims police are not prosecuting that driver because his family reportedly has strong ties to law enforcement.
Barter and Read said they went to Tennessee to confront the third driver, who reportedly told them in a recorded audio conversation that he saw something in the road but didn’t pay attention to it and hoped he didn’t kill anybody.
Cheatham County Investigator Jeff Landis told FOX61 over the phone Monday that they interviewed that driver, but concluded he was not involved. Landis stressed that the case is closed.
Read said she is determined to get justice for her son because she lives with the pain of the case every day.
“No one knows that at home, in the middle of the night when my family is sleeping, that I’m up and I’m dry heaving and I’m crying and I’m begging and I’m just online investigating this whole thing myself,” said Read.
Both Read and Barter said they are moms on a mission. “Austin, I miss you, I love you, I will never stop,” said Read.
“We’re in it until the end,” said Barter. “And they [investigators] better get used to us, because we’re gonna be around a long time.”
Barter said the family will be re-filing a lawsuit in the coming months to include additional defendants. She said they also have interest in the case on the federal level, but could not yet go into further detail.