Police: Alcohol might be involved in death near I-88

Published: Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 5:30 a.m.CDT

DIXON – Alcohol might have been a contributing factor in the death of a man found alongside Interstate 88 just west of Dixon on Nov. 13, Illinois State Police said Thursday.

Lee Catlin, 65, of Bettendorf, Iowa, was found along the side of the highway, just west of Dixon, almost 12 hours after two 911 calls were made to alert state police to his presence.

Catlin’s car was found along the highway less than a mile west of where his body was found, State Police Capt. Jim Winters said Thursday.

“It does appear alcohol was a contributing factor [in Catlin’s death],” state police spokeswoman Monique Bond told the Associated Press on Thursday. “We just don’t know. Maybe he had passed out someplace, then again got up [and collapsed elsewhere]. It’s unclear, and it’s unfortunate.”

Court documents show that on Nov. 9, four days before Catlin’s body was found, he was arrested by police in Davenport and charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence, a first offense.

Catlin, a science teacher for more than 30 years at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Moline, retired in 2003.

Throughout his career, he maintained a strong focus on technology, and during his time as student congress adviser, the school got its first two computers, according to a news release from the school written at the time of his retirement.

Since the beginning of the investigation, state police have said that troopers dispatched the night of Dec. 12 in response to the 911 calls found no evidence of him.

On Thursday, Bond told the Associated Press that “all protocols and procedures were followed” during the response, and that no internal investigation is being conducted.

As to Catlin’s death, Winters said the investigation is nearly complete.

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