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Autopsy shows traces of alcohol in chief's system

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Former Holland Police Chief Doug Kaiser was neither legally intoxicated nor under the influence of other drugs when he shot himself to death in Sidney, Ohio, on July 28, an autopsy report shows.

Shelby County Coroner Dr. Fred Haussman listed "alcohol use" as a significant condition to Chief Kaiser's cause and manner of death, but his blood-alcohol level was 0.06 percent, which is less than the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent, the coroner said.

"Whenever there's a suicide, if there's any alcohol or drug use, we list that generally as routine because a lot of those people who do that wouldn't do it if they weren't under some influence, so it is significant," Dr. Haussman said yesterday.

"Any time we have a suicide, we look for other causes or things that contribute. Depression is a common one, but I didn't know him to know whether that was a factor."

Toxicology testing done showed no presence of other drugs, except for caffeine, the report stated.

Chief Kaiser, 45, shot himself once in the right temple inside his personal vehicle as police and sheriff's deputies from several departments who had been searching for him looked on. He died within seconds, according to the autopsy report.

Alerted by the Lucas County Sheriff's Office, law enforcement agencies in the area north of Dayton had been looking for Chief Kaiser for several hours before a state trooper spotted his vehicle on I-75.

A Piqua police officer followed him to Sidney, where officers tried to pull him over and placed spikes on the road to disable his vehicle. After he shot himself, Sidney police said they found alcoholic beverages in his vehicle as well as some writings that indicated he was thinking of taking his life.

Sidney Police Chief Steve Wearly said yesterday that his department closed its investigation without determining why Chief Kaiser committed suicide.

"I don't think we felt that we received all the information available to us from family, friends, associates, people who knew him that would have helped us down here understand that," Chief Wearly said. "And to some extent that's understandable. They suffered a terrible loss."

Last month, Holland Village Council named Sgt. Bob Reed as the new police chief.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at:

jfeehan@theblade.com

or 419-353-5972.

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