Former New London Police Officer Found Dead in Car

NBC Connecticut

A former New London police officer was found dead in a car in Griswold Monday afternoon.

Russell MacDonald, 35, of Jewett City, was found dead inside a car on I-395 near exit 24 around 4:30 p.m., accoriding to state police.

MacDonald was hired to be an officer for the New London Police Department in March 2008 but resigned in August 2015. MacDonald, a property officer, was being internally investigated by the department for issues related to the evidence room by the time of his resignation, police said. 

The investigation started in March 2015 and the New London Police Department told NBC Connecticut that MacDonald was involved in missing and tampered evidence, such as drugs and cash. As far as they know, those drugs and cash have never been recovered.

The case was eventually handed over to the state's attorney's office and Connecticut State Police. Due to the nature of the investigation, federal agents got involved in the probe, New London police said. 

Tom Carson, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said no charges have been filed in the MacDonald case but his office cannot confirm nor deny an investigation.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct a post-mortem examination to determine MacDonald's manner of death. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the office said the autopsy of Russell MacDonald is pending further study. The office is waiting for test results to come back which will take several weeks.

Police said there is no foul play suspected and no threat to the public. 

NBC Connecticut spoke with former New London Mayor Daryl Finizio, who served during the time MacDonald was investigated and resigned.

"Obviously when you hear of the death of an officer or former officer who served the city, especially a death that's the result of tragic circumstances, then my thoughts and prayers go out to his family," he said.

Current New London Mayor Michael Passero released the following statement on MacDonald's death.

"It is with a sense of sadness to learn of the untimely death of former New London Police Officer Russell MacDonald. During this difficult period, the city wishes to expresses our condolences and thoughts to Mr. MacDonald’s family."

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