Airport elevator accident victim Chad Wolfe laid to rest in his native Pennsylvania on Thursday
9:52 PM, Mar 21, 2013
1:36 AM, Mar 22, 2013
TAMPA - Tampa International Airport officials released multiple surveillance videos Thursday afternoon which document the final minutes of a man's life.
Chad Wolfe, 31, was found dead in an elevator shaft last Friday.
"It shows some of his erratic behavior, him stumbling," explained Janet Zink, airport spokesperson.
Wolfe first appears on camera after he got off Flight 2233 from Atlanta. He is seen wearing all black and is carrying a black bag. Wolfe's longtime girlfriend, Jessica Price, can be seen just a few feet in front of him.
The couple appears to be confused about which tram to get on to go to the main concourse. First they are seen talking to a member of the airport cleaning crew. Then, Price is seen talking to a TSA worker.
The next clip captured something unusual. Two cameras caught Wolfe trying to climb a potted tree and jumping on the potted plants. At the time, his girlfriend is waiting for the tram. Finally, both get on the tram using separate doors.
Minutes later, the couple is spotted again on the main concourse. Wolfe can be seen drinking out of a bottle.
"He had a bottle of vodka with him and we found a bottle of vodka on his body," said Airport Police Chief Paul Sireci.
Police also said an empty bottle of xanax was found in Wolfe's pocket.
"He was highly intoxicated," Sireci added.
The couple is finally seen at an elevator bank on the main concourse. Once again, the couple separates. Price is seen running to an elevator on the far left. Once she's inside, Wolfe runs to the elevator on the far right.
Police said Price went to baggage claim and Wolfe went to the seventh floor of the parking garage.
Witnesses riding the elevator with Wolfe told police he got off with them on the seventh floor. They also said the elevator doors closed and Wolfe dropped his bags.
What happened after that remains a mystery because there is no surveillance video and no eyewitnesses.
Maintenance workers found Wolfe's body in an elevator shaft ten hours later.
"Bottom line, we may never know what happened," Zink said.
An inspection of the elevator shaft Wolfe fell down revealed the lock on the hoistway doors had either malfunctioned or were tampered with. The inspector was also able to open the doors using his hands exposing the elevator shaft.
The elevator was last serviced in January and airport officials said at that time the lock was working.
State inspectors released a report Thursday stating that all of the other elevators at TIA are working properly and safe.
Wolfe was laid to rest on Thursday in his native Pennsylvania. Calls to his girlfriend and family were not immediately returned.