Quad City teacher died from hypothermia along Interstate 88

A Quad City teacher found dead along Interstate 88 near Dixon in November froze to death.

The Lee County Coroner confirms to WQAD-TV that hypothermia is the official cause of death for 65-year-old Lee Catlin.  Catlin lived in Bettendorf and was a longtime teacher in Moline.

Catlin’s body was found along the Interstate on the morning of November 13th by highway workers. His car was found about a mile away.

Two motorists called 911 twelve hours earlier, after seeing a man in distress by the side of the road, waving his arms near an overpass.  The callers gave similar directions and were told state police were on the way.

The first caller was a trucker who relayed the mile marker and approximate location of the man, who he told WQAD in an interview, “you couldn’t miss” if you were looking.

Sixteen minutes later, a second caller gave a similar description and location, the dispatcher telling them police knew about it and had someone on the way.

Illinois State Police say they are not conducting an internal review into what happened that night, and have denied Freedom of Information requests filed by WQAD-TV for more information and records on their response to the emergency calls.

Police have also not released any other details about the incident, including why Catlin was separated from his car.

In December, Illinois State Police spokesperson Monique Bond told Sauk Valley News the cause of Catlin’s death was “alcohol-related,” but later backed off that statement, saying results from lab tests had not come in yet.

Bond also told WQAD that an internal investigation would not be conducted into how the case was handled, because the call was properly dispatched that night and came back unfounded.

For more coverage of the investigation into Mr. Catlin’s death – click here.


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