Alexander Blake VanDalsenAge 21
9 Feb 2021
Lafayette, Indiana (USA)
Alexander was found dead after being missing for a week.
The missing person for whom police were searching the past week has reportedly died, the Tippecanoe County Coroner's office confirmed after identifying a corpse found in Lafayette Tuesday afternoon.
Lafayette man Alex VanDalsen, 21, was deceased when found by police on the 2000-block of Breckenridge Street in Lafayette around 1 p.m. Tuesday, according to Lafayette Police Department logs.
Pride Lafayette, a group that advocates for LGBTQ people in Greater Lafayette, started a Facebook fundraiser in an effort to raise money for VanDalsen's funeral expenses on Wednesday. VanDalsen was a transgender man, according to his Facebook page.
The petition, which as of Wednesday evening had raised over $3,200 from nearly 100 people, can be found on Facebook on a page titled "Alexander's Funeral Expenses."
"We did not know Alex, but we do know that no mother should ever have to bury a child," wrote Ashley Smith, the fundraiser's creator. "He was someone's child, someone's sibling, someone's grandchild."
Police have not said whether VanDalsen was found with any injuries. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, according to the coroner.
Subsequently his death was ruled a suicide following an autopsy. However, his family dispute the verdict:
On February 3, 2021, It was a cold Indiana evening with snow on the ground. Alex left home on foot before midnight without telling anyone where he was going.
He wouldn't be seen alive again. On February 9th, Alex was found dead. His death was ruled a suicide without any investigation. The family doesn't believe the suicide theory for the following reasons:
Alex's hands weren't tested for gunpowder residue.
The gun was found underneath his body and wasn't tested for fingerprints.
Alex was found 10 miles from his home. It was less than 20 degrees and he wasn't dressed for the weather. He also didn't take his car. So how did he get to the site where his body was found? Because of his asthma, the snow and low temperature, he didn't make the 10 mile walk.
There were no shell casings at the death scene. How was that possible?
There was no blood splatter at the scene.
Jennifer VanDalsen (Alex's mother) believes someone picked Alex up, killed him and then dumped his body. However, she believes law enforcement refused to investigate the case seriously because Alex was transgender.
The family has asked law enforcement to answer their concerns about Alex's death. They haven't received any answers. Did Alex truly commit suicide or was he murdered?