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Terry Trafford search began six days after he was last seen

A spokesman for the Michigan State Police said his department did not begin an investigation into the whereabouts of Terry Trafford until March 9, six days after the Saginaw Spirit forward was reportedly last seen and two days before his body was found in his truck parked at a Walmart in Saginaw.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

A spokesman for the Michigan State Police said his department did not begin an investigation into the whereabouts of Terry Trafford until March 9, six days after the Saginaw Spirit forward was reportedly last seen and two days before his body was found in his truck parked at a Walmart in Saginaw.

Lt. Brian Cole said his department was not contacted about Trafford until March 9 and immediately opened an investigation. When asked whether it seemed unusual that someone would be missing for six days before police being called, he said, “I can’t comment on that.”

It’s believed Trafford was sent home by the team in February. It is not known what the reason was for him being sent home. Trafford’s girlfriend has said he was sent home in March for smoking marijuana on a road trip in February, but a source said Trafford had never been officially disciplined for using drugs and was subject to a random test in December, which he passed.

The Canadian Hockey League does have an anti-doping policy that covers substance abuse and one of the measures spelled out in the agreement allows players who either willingly come forward or test positive to enter a licensed drug rehabilitation facility.

An autopsy on Trafford will be conducted Thursday and Cole said police will have a better idea of how to proceed with their investigation after the results are known. Cole said the cause of death might be determined quickly, but if toxicology tests are required, it could be weeks before it is known exactly how he died.

Cole would also not comment on how long Trafford’s 1995 green GMC Sierra had been in the Walmart parking lot. Police had been searching for the vehicle for only two days before it had been found.

“The trooper knew what he was looking for,” Cole said. “I know how it sounds, ‘Wow, in a parking lot of a big store where everybody parks. It should have been obvious.’ It was not in an obvious place. It could have been missed.”

We will update this story as we receive more information.

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