Investigators Try to Piece Together Wheeler’s Last Hours

More details are being revealed about the death of former presidential adviser, defense department consultant and Vietnam veteran, John Wheeler.

Though investigators have confirmed that Wheeler was killed, they won’t say how.

A surveillance video released Wednesday shows a disoriented Wheeler roaming around the parking garage of the New Castle County Courthouse two days before he was found dead in a landfill on Friday, Dec. 31.


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Witnesses say that they thought he was homeless when they saw him.

“He didn’t have a coat on and he had one shoe inside his hand,” said parking attendant Iman Goldsborough.

Police still don’t know where Wheeler was killed and why.

“What we know is that he somehow made his way back to Wilmington," said Lt. Mark Farrall of the Newark Police. “We haven’t confirmed how he made his way back to Wilmington at this time.”

Police say that on Tuesday, Dec. 28, Wheeler was supposed to arrive in Wilmington via train. They’re unsure where he went or what he did.

On Wednesday, Dec. 29, around 6 p.m., Wheeler was seen at a New Castle County Happy Harry’s drug store reportedly asking a pharmacist there for a ride to Wilmington.

Police then say that about 40 minutes later with one shoe in his hand and no coat, Wheeler was seen roaming around the Courthouse parking garage while noticeably disoriented, looking for his car.

“I asked him where his ticket was and he told me that his ticket was still inside his briefcase,” said Goldsborough. “I asked him where his briefcase was and he said it was stolen. That’s all he could tell me.”

Police are still uncertain where Wheeler went once he left the parking garage. He was next seen on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 3:30 p.m. near 10th and Orange Streets in Wilmington.

He was reportedly wearing different clothes -- a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants -- and was seen in the area near the Hotel Du Pont.

He was also approached by several individuals inside the Nemours Building on 10th and Orange and offered assistance. He reportedly declined however.

He was captured on surveillance video inside the building as late as 8:30 p.m. that day.

Police say he was not seen again after that and they don’t know when he left the building.

His body was discovered less than twelve hours later in a Wilmington landfill.

Police also say that Wheeler’s car was parked in an Amtrak parking garage since Dec. 13. They don’t think it moved since he parked it there that day though it wasn’t unusual for him to do this when he traveled.

Police also confirmed that they collected evidence -- floor boards -- from Wheeler’s home in New Castle.

The Newark Police Department is asking anyone with information regarding Wheeler’s whereabouts after 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 30 to contact Detective Nicholas Sansome at 302-366-7110 ext. 135.

You can also provide information anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 where a reward may be available.

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