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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Results Delayed in Norwalk Policeman’s Death

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UPDATE Autopsy results on the body of a Norwalk police officer who died of a gunshot wound are not likely to be available for weeks, a spokeswoman for the state’s medical examiner said today.

She said conclusive results about the circumstances under which Matthew Morelli, 38, died are pending until more studies are concluded.

What at first seemed like a case of a Norwalk police officer brutally slain on duty progressively turned into a tragedy with more questions than answers.

Morelli, who grew up in Weston and volunteered for a time as an EMT in Westport, was found shot to death early Friday in South Norwalk after radioing that he was investigating suspicious activity. (See WestportNow March 21, 2008)

After colleagues and police from neighboring departments, including Westport, rushed to the scene to help find the killer or killers, investigators later indicated that they had no suspects, there was no danger to area residents, and they could not rule out that his wound was self-inflicted.

While official autopsy results were announced as having been delayed, word quietly circulated among police ranks during the day that investigators had concluded that Morelli took his own life, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.

“It’s tough for everyone,” said one officer.

Earlier, the medical examiner’s office said delays in releasing findings are not unusual in complicated cases, particularly those involving the legal
ramifications of a police officer’s death.

A divorced Gulf War combat veteran with a young daughter, Morelli served for 11 years on the Norwalk department.

Norwalk police personnel are invited to attend a wake for Morelli from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Collins Funeral Home at 92 East Ave., Norwalk. Friends and associates are invited to attend the wake from 5 to 9 p.m.

At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, a funeral Mass will be held at St. Matthew’s Church, 216 Scribner Ave., Norwalk. Burial will follow at St. John’s Cemetery, 223 Richards Ave., Norwalk.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to benefit Morelli’s daughter, Sydney, 6, at the Sydney Anne Morelli Trust Fund c/o Fitzmaurice & Siegel, 1281 East Main St., Stamford, CT 06902.

Posted 03/22/08 at 07:11 PM

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