Their Son Went to a Night Party Then His Bones Snapped, and a Popping Sound Was Heard From the Utility Room the Next Months

The tragic case of Wade Steffey

The crime case of Wade Steffey
Image by fxquadro on Freepik

It was in the morning hours.

A maintenance worker heard a popping sound. The worker rushed towards the washers and dryers to check. Then suddenly, another popping sound. But it wasn’t coming from the laundry room. Confused, the worker left the laundry room.

She took out her keys and opened the door to the utility room. Then she stepped inside the utility room.

And she made a grim discovery.

“Wade had positioned himself in a narrow space between a transformer and the walk of the vault.
He was electrocuted when he inserted his left hand finger into a 0.88-inch hole of an exposed conductor attached to the transformer.”

The report from an accident reconstruction group

Wade Was a Nineteen-Year-Old Teen

Wade Samuel Steffey was nineteen years old and a Purdue University freshman from North Carolina, USA. He was an exceptional student.

Wade’s father had so much confidence in his son. He was very proud of Wade when it came to education. His son had received many awards since high school. For Higher education, he chose to pursue Aviation technology on a full academic scholarship. So, Wade went to Purdue University.

On January 12th, 2007, he walked into the dining hall. He grabbed some food. Then he ate with a group of friends.

Wade went to chill with his friends afterward in a building dormitory called Owen Hall. He chatted with his friends and sipped on alcohol.

Then Wade left Owen Hall with a few friends.

Wade Went to a Huge Party With His Friends

Crime case (Wade Steffey)
Wade Steffey-image from Purdue

Wade and his friends headed to a big fraternity party on campus. Wade hung out at the party.

He had a lot to drink and was completely smashed. Around midnight, Wade pulled aside one of his friends. He had just remembered that he had left his coat at Owen Hall.

So he wanted to go back to retrieve it. Wade made his way back to Owen Hall. But the dorms on the Purdue campus were all locked at night. So Wade had to contact someone who lived in Owen Hall to open from the inside.

Wade made six phone calls to his friends in Owen Hall.

But he was too drunk.

Most of his phone calls were wrong numbers. A few went through. But the people didn’t answer their phones. So, Wade wobbled to Owen Hall. Then he loudly knocked on the locked doors. A resident of Owen Hall heard the knock. She came to the door. And she peeped through the keyhole.

But she noticed Wade looked heavily intoxicated. So she decided not to let him into the building.

And Wade turned around and walked away.

Wade’s Roommate Came To School

Wade’s roommate returned to university four days later. The first thing he noticed when he returned to the dorm was that Wade wasn’t inside.

The roommate called and texted Wade. But no response. So the roommate asked neighbors if they had seen Wade. But no one had seen him for days.

Wade’s roommate got concerned. He called Wade’s family. His family also didn’t know where Wade was. So the police were contacted about Wade’s potential disappearance. So the police tracked Wade’s phone. It was somewhere on the Purdue campus. But it was impossible to pinpoint his exact location.

So a massive campus search for Wade was immediately launched. Hundreds of police officers and volunteers came out to search for Wade. But the search turned into days. Days turned into weeks. And weeks turned into almost a month.

The only thing that the investigators found was one of Wade’s shoes outside of a utility room. The investigators searched the room. But Wade wasn’t there.

Wade’s official search was called off nearly a month later.

A Maintenance Worker Heard a Popping Sound

Two months after Wade went missing, a maintenance worker heard popping sounds whilst she was in the laundry room. The worker checked the washers and the dryers. Then she realized that the sounds were coming from the utility room.

So the worker pulled out her big set of keys. She opened the door to the utility room. And she stepped inside.

The odor from the utility room drew her attention. So she decided to look around. Moments later, she made a grim discovery. And the police were called.

What Happened to Wade on the Day of His Death

Wade turned away after he was refused entry into Owen Hall in the early morning hours of January 13th. But he wasn’t ready to give up yet.

He wanted to get into Owen Hall and retrieve his coat. So Wade went to the left side of the building to look for another way inside. And he found another door. Wade climbed over the metal railings that lined the outside of the door in order to access it. Then he tried the door, and he realized that it was unlocked.

So he pulled the door open and stepped inside.

All he could hear was the sound of machines humming and whirring in the darkness. Wade couldn’t find a light switch. He took off one of his shoes. And he tucked it in the door to keep it from closing and lock him inside.

Wade walked into the room. Then he bumped into a metal structure. He couldn’t see what it was. But he could feel it. So he felt his way around it. The machine led him to the wall of the room.

Wade realized that the space between the machine and the wall of the room was just enough to squeeze in.

All he had to do was to move sideways.

Wade Squeezed Himself Though The Space

Wade turned sideways, his back to the wall of the room and his chest facing the machine. He pushed himself into the narrow space. Then he accidentally wedged his left ring finger into a very narrow hole of the machine at some point.

The machine was actually a transformer. So Wade was electrocuted immediately. And he died instantly. Wade’s body continued to be electrocuted for the next two months until the maintenance worker heard the popping sound.

Then Wade’s remains were finally found.

All this information was a reconstruction of events by an accident reconstruction group.

The Aftermath

Purdue University was found to be negligent because the utility door was supposed to be locked at all times. And it didn’t have a warning sign on it.

So Purdue paid Wade’s family $500 000. They also set up a scholarship in Wade’s name.

Wade’s mother thanked the people who supported her family in Wade’s search.

She stated;

“We have the big answer to where our son is.
Initially, there’s a relief. At this point in time, we had strongly suspected he was gone. Now, our search has peace.
Everyone else who’s thinking and praying for us can have a measure of peace as well.
There’s a relief for everyone involved. Now, there’s grief.”