In February 2010, Navy seaman Kyle Antonacci was found hanging by a belt in the closet of his room at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois. His cause of death was ruled asphyxia by hanging but how he died is yet to be determined. Kyle was 22 years old and had recently been the witness in the rape trial of a friend and fellow seaman.
His death has been under investigation by the Lake County Coroner’s Office and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) for the past 20 months.
Positive their son did not commit suicide, Kyle’s parents, of Hicksville, N.Y., launched their own investigation into his death. The Antonaccis claim the details they’ve uncovered are both shocking and suspicious. Now, they believe their son’s hanging was actually a murder.
In a special five-part series, Patch will explore Kyle’s story and his death through interviews with his friends and family, examination of court records, secretly recorded conversations, medical documentation — even a conversation with the seaman he testified against.
Part 2: Rape Trial Leads to Navy Seaman’s Death on Navy Base
Shortly before his death in early 2010, Kyle testified in a rape trial against one of his close friends on the base. But what transpired outside of the courtroom has his parents concerned.
Part 3: Navy Seaman Acting as NCIS Informant on Day of Death
Not long after the trial, officials accused Kyle of lying on the stand. After revealing his secret, he agreed to work undercover against his friend's accuser.
Part 4: Family Exhumes Navy Seaman’s Body to Investigate Death
Seeking more information about their son’s death, Kyle’s parents have his body exhumed from Long Island National Cemetery. What they found — or, rather, what they didn't find — could have determined whether Kyle’s death was a suicide or homicide.
Part 5: Family Says Navy Son’s Remains Were Disrespected
During the second autopsy, the Antonaccis also discovered issues with the way Kyle's body was prepared for burial — issues that interfered with them learning more about his death.
A combination of red flags have led the Antonaccis to believe their son was murdered at Great Lakes Naval Station and fear the base is trying to cover it up. In attempt to make sure that doesn’t happen, they’ve pledged to continue their own investigation until the truth is revealed.