The Office of the Chief State's Medical Examiner has ruled that a Montville woman whose body was discovered at Bluff Point State Park in Groton in late July drowned, and her death has been ruled a suicide.
The cause of death for Tricia Beattie was determined to be “asphyxia due to submersion” — the technical term for drowning — and the manner of death has been ruled a suicide, the medical examiner’s office confirmed Monday.
Police had been investigating the death for months and while they declined to confirm any details about the case, Beattie’s husband told Montville Patch he believed his wife was murdered.
But based on the findings provided to Montville Patch by the Office of the Chief State's Medical Examiner, the death of the 36-year-old mother of four biological children and two stepchildren was a suicide.
In late September, two months after his wife’s body was found in the shallow waters off Bluff Point State Park, Scott Kaune said he believed his wife was killed.
Kaune told Patch: “I know it was a murder." He claimed he saw markings including bruises on her body on the day of her funeral. He said there were a number of other clues that led him to believe she was murdered, and by someone she knew. He said she had to have been driven to Bluff Point since her car was located near the place she was last seen, Mo's Burger and Brew, and she was bruised about her neck which Kaune said suggested she “put up a struggle.” And he said that she had a lot of cash with her that night but most of it, and her phone, was missing.
Kaune speculated that she went to Bluff Point with someone she knew and was robbed and killed there.
But the findings from the medical examiner tell another story — Beattie drowned and, according to the ME, she intended for that to happen, and they ruled the death a suicide.
But some witnesses who initially posted comments and blogs online said she was “happy” while hanging out at the bar.
Kaune said he was home watching their children the night she went out with friends and work colleagues “relieving stress,” he said, at the bar. Kaune said he wasn’t concerned that his wife was not yet home when he awoke at 3:30 a.m. to use the bathroom and tend to his daughter who had awoken and asked where her mother was.
But when he woke at 5:30 and realized she had not come home, he said his first call “was to Troop E to see if she was in an accident or got pulled over or something. Then at 4 that day, they found her.”
Beattie's funeral was held Aug. 2.
According to her obituary, Tricia graduated from Montville High School in 1994, where she participated in concert and marching band. She was employed at Dunkin' Donuts, was involved in Girl Scouts with her daughters, loved the Waterford Speed Bowl and karaoke. She is survived by her parents, R. Bruce and Sharon (Phillips) Beattie of Oakdale and her children, Christopher, Amanda, Alexandra, and Rebecca; her stepchildren, Shawn and Cynthia Kuane.