Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The strange death of Captain Tracy Martin

No one can explain why? Captain Tracy Lee (Freeman) Martin, age 42, from Phoenix, NY, who was a respected Captain in the U.S. Air Force, and who had everything to live for, is dead. She had met and fell in love with an Air Force Major and she and three children from a former marriage.

On Saturday afternoon, (9/24), after dating for 5 to 6 years, Tracy married Major Timothy Martin and the couple held their reception at the River Vista Center in Fulton. After the reception, the couple drove home. Major Martin reported the two had an argument after arriving home at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning, concerning his dancing with another woman at the wedding. Tracy Martin got into her BMW vehicle and drove off. Major Martin admitted he knew Tracy left with a 357 Magnum handgun. Police have not yet been able to trace the gun registration. He reported her missing to the State Police at 3:59 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

The vehicle, with a satellite locator, was ‘pinged’ as being in the parking lot of the Quality Inn in Newark. Records show she checked in alone about 9 a.m. Sunday morning, carrying her purse and a water bottle. In her vehicle were balloons, a wedding dress and presents from the wedding. Video security never shows Tracy leaving the hotel.

Between 6-6:30 p.m. that evening someone recalled hearing a shot, but thought nothing of it and never called authorities. Police forced their way into the room that was locked from the inside. They discovered Captain Tracy Martin’s body in her room at the Quality Inn at 9:45 p.m. on Sunday. She had apparently used a handgun and shot herself in the head in an apparent suicide. Also found in the room was the prescription medication zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien, a Class 4 non-narcotic controlled substance, used to treat sleep disorders.

An unsigned note saying she was sorry for letting everybody down. “I think I am crazy. I have put you through enough.” was found at the scene.

The Air Force OSI (Office of Special Investigations) sent investigators down to search the room and her vehicle for any documentation. Captain Martin was assigned to the 174th Fighter Wing National Guard Unit out of Syracuse. She commanded the 174th Security Forces Squadron.

Captain Martin was tough. Tracy was an avid runner who completed four marathons. She was determined to do an Ironman Triathlon. Above all she enjoyed time with her family and friends.

“This seemed to come out of left field,” said Investigator Warren. “According to everybody there were no signs, she got along with everybody.”

Police and OSI investigators are checking her vehicle GPS (Global Positioning System) and cell phone records. How, and why did this happen? Why did Captain Martin end up at the Quality Inn in Newark? Did she meet someone? How could a woman, with three children, celebrate a blissful wedding on Saturday and, in less than 24 hours, end her life in such a brutal method?

Wayne County Coroner Dr. David Hannan ruled the death as “gunshot/apparent suicide”, without showing up at the scene. Investigator Jay Warren said it may be obvious, but he still wants to sew up some loose ends. Police are still investigating and plan interviews with Major Timothy Martin this week. Meanwhile her husband and rest of the family and friends, which included her ex-husband, planned and held a full service military funeral on Friday (9/30).

The answers to this baffling case may have disappeared with the pulling of a trigger, allegedly by someone alone in a strange hotel room, away from the people who loved her. For some unknown reason, it appears Captain Tracy Martin found no reason to live.