Real Name: Chad Wayne Langford
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Date: March 12, 1992
Details: Twenty-year-old Chad Langford was a military police patrolman at the Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Alabama who was found near death outside of his police unit on March 12, 1992. At around 7:40pm, he radioed to his dispatch that he required assistance due to a violent motorist who he had stopped to help that started to turn on him. When military police arrived to help they immediately came upon his MP armband, portable radio, and military ID card arranged in the middle of the road.
About a quarter-mile down the road, a patrolman found Chad outside of his patrol car. His cap had been stuffed in his mouth and he had the lanyard from his handgun wrapped around his ankles, handcuffs on his left wrist, the date "March 3", and the name "Robert" written on his hand, the unit's radar cable wrapped around his neck, and his .45 caliber gun beneath his left shoulder. He was shot in the head and barely alive. He was rushed to Huntsville Hospital where he succumbed to his injury a few hours later.
The Army ruled Chad's death a suicide that shocked and outraged his father, Jim, who rejected the idea that he had killed himself. He had been raised by his father and grandmother in Elk Creek, California. He had joined the Army right out of high school. He was stationed in South Korea for several months. He later joined the military police at Redstone.
Jim claimed that in February 1992, Chad told him that he was doing undercover drug-related Army work and had received several death threats. He did not know where they were coming from. Jim told him to speak to his undercover superior. However, he claimed that he would not be able to speak with the superior for another fourteen days. Within less than fourteen days, he would end up dead.
The Army reviewed this case for four months and claimed that he was not involved in any undercover work but did have several psychological problems. He was depressed and suicidal before his death. The Army also claimed that his recent break-up was a motive he had to kill himself. However, his ex-girlfriend, Roxanne, claimed that he broke up with her. This would have meant that the break-up was his idea and he would have likely been happier after it. She said that he broke up with her because he was focused on his work and knew he could not dedicate enough time to spend with her.
Roxanne believed that someone had influenced Chad to break up with her to keep her safe and away from whatever unsafe doings he was connected to. She last saw him five days before his death at the base nightclub where he had changed his lifestyle. He was dressed in black and was hanging out with rough-looking people that she did not know.
Some believed that Chad's change in behavior was related to a CID botched robbery that he took part in. He had told the others involved that he planned to have someone shoot him while wearing a bulletproof vest. He also suggested killing potential witnesses. However, his family rejected the idea that he was involved. Jim stated they thought other people had orchestrated the crime and wanted Chad to be involved in it but he refused.
Before his death, Chad called several of his friends (no relatives) and said goodbye to them. Roxanne, however, does not believe that the message he left was a "goodbye" message. His relatives believed that he would have called them to say goodbye if he had wanted to commit suicide. The psychological autopsy stated that he had low self-esteem and wanted to create a new image for himself, even if it meant suicide. The inquiry claims that his death was based on methodical planning, including the story of a stranded vehicle, the different shots fired, and his suicide.
According to Chad's relatives, the evidence gathered from the scene did not match the suicide scenario. There were two .45 caliber shell casings found at it. However, there were no bullets found in and around it. Lab tests could not find evidence that he had handled a gun. For unknown reasons, fingerprints found on his radio and handcuffs were not checked. Unknown fingerprints were also found on his MP armband and military ID card. Also, they could not conclude how he ended up on top of his gun, or how two of his buttons ended up in his car if this was an apparent suicide.
Chad's relatives believed that he was at that part of the base to meet someone about his undercover work. They believed that at least two men whom he knew shot and killed him to silence him about his secret drug-related work.
Chad's death remains a mystery. Jim holds a $25,000 reward for anyone with important information that brings this case to a close.
Suspects: Within a mile of where Chad was found, MPs stopped two men in two different cars at around the time that he died. Surprisingly, neither of their names were written down, nor were descriptions of the cars noted. Also, they were not questioned about his death. An informant claimed that one of their names was Robert, the name found on Chad's hand.
- This case first aired on the February 24, 1993 episode.
- An image of Chad appeared on the February 23, 1994 episode on the segment focusing on the deaths of Michael Carmichael and Billy Ray Hargrove
- Chad was a Specialist (SPC), one of the four junior enlisted ranks in the Army, just above private first class and paid the same as a corporal. Unlike corporals, SPC are not considered Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs).
Results: Unsolved. After the broadcast, the investigation into Chad's death was reopened by the Army. The results from the new investigation were never known and never made public.
- Chad Langford on Unsolved.com
- Families of Soldiers Want Suicide Cases Reopened - May 16, 1993
- Soldiers' families want suicide cases reopened - May 17, 1993
- Soldiers' families say they didn't all commit suicide - May 17, 1993
- Parents challenging military in 14 servicemembers' deaths - May 18, 1993
- Suicide rulings in military questioned - December 19, 1993
- 40 Suicide Rulings are Challenged - December 20, 1993
- Probe finds the military jumps the gun on suicide - December 20, 1993
- Report: Military too quick to rule 40 deaths suicide - December 20, 1993
- Trace Evidence Podcast
- Chad Langford on Find a Grave