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Investigation concludes Quadracci death was accidental

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Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - Police completed the investigation into the death of printing executive Harry Quadracci, concurring with the medical examiner that the Quad /Graphics founder accidentally drowned, officials said Wednesday.

Since the day Quadracci was found under a pier outside his house on Pine Lake, speculation into the cause of his death has been constant, records released Wednesday show.

When family members awoke the morning of July 29 and found him missing, they were initially concerned he might have been kidnapped, according to the documents released by investigators.

According to the investigative reports:

Betty Quadracci went to sleep with her husband, Harry, the night of July 28 but woke up around 7:15 a.m. to find him gone.

The family found it odd that all of the family's vehicles were still at the house, as were Harry's pager, cell phone, wallet and money clip. The report says Quadracci always carried some communication device on him, so he could be reached.

Betty and Harry's sons searched the house and all of their property but couldn't find Harry. They decided to call police shortly after noon.

One of the first officers at the house was Chenequa police Sgt. David Reid. While he was interviewing relatives in the living room, the family said they were concerned Quadracci had been kidnapped.

The rear patio door was open and unlocked and the house's alarm system had not been activated the night before.

They were also concerned that a briefcase containing a handgun was missing.

Reid asked the family members if they thought Quadracci might have taken his own life.

They said they didn't think so, but because he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a fire July 12 that leveled the Quad /Graphic Lomira plant and killed a worker, police should not rule anything out.

The family told officers that he felt the fire tarnished his personal record and was his fault.

Investigators started at the house and fanned out across the Quadracci property. Around 3 p.m., officers spotted the body under the pier.

Two officers stripped down to their shorts and went in the lake to pull him out.

He was wearing the red shorts he had gone to bed in. A bottle of the anti-depressant Seroquel was found in his pocket.

Police told his family they had found a body and warned it might not be a pleasant sight since he had been under water for a while.

But Betty Quadracci insisted on going out to the pier with her brother, a priest, so he could perform the last rites.

Toxicology tests conducted after Quadracci's death ruled that he had prescription antidepressants in his bloodstream and a .042 percent blood-alcohol level.


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