Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Murder mystery. WJZ is uncovering new clues surrounding the death of a former powerful presidential advisor.
Kai Jackson explains investigators have located John Wheeler’s cell phone.
It’s a mystery that doesn’t unravel but appears to get more complicated with each new clue. The key evidence now is an iPhone that belonged to former Pentagon official John Wheeler III.
“None of it fits together. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, but most of the pieces aren’t there,” said neighbor, Robert Dill.
The body of John Wheeler III, 66, a former defense consultant, was found in a landfill on Dec. 31, less than 10 miles from his home in New Castle, Del. It was just days after he traveled from Washington — through Maryland — by train. How he died remains a mystery.
Now investigators confirm that Wheeler’s iPhone was found at the scene of a smoke bomb attack — an attack that some believe Wheeler committed days before he was killed.
“It’s almost not the emotional aspect. We’re just kind of dealing with this whirlwind, this bizarre whirlwind,” said John Wheeler IV, Wheeler’s son.
According to published reports, Wheeler and his wife were upset about construction of a new house that blocked their view of the Delaware River. One neighbor who said he saw the smoke bombing said Wheeler matched the description of the person leaving the scene. Still, it doesn’t explain why Wheeler looked disoriented and disheveled in surveillance video from Wilmington, Del. before he died, nor does it explain why he might have been killed.
“I read that he was disoriented and that sort of thing, but he wasn’t,” said Katherine Klyce, Wheeler’s wife.
There are no suspects in Wheeler’s death.
“At this point in time, we have not been able to determine where Mr. Wheeler was killed, although he have determined his body was dumped in one of 10 garbage dumpsters in the city of Newark,” said Lt. Mark Farrall, Newark Police Department.
Wheeler’s wife revealed when investigators found her husband, he still had expensive jewelry on his body, including a gold West Point ring and Rolex watch.
It’s unclear if he was targeted or randomly attacked. The medical examiner determined he died of blunt force trauma after being assaulted.
The Wheeler family is offering $25,000 in reward money to solve this case.