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Lincoln Park Death Investigation: Officials Suspect 'No Foul Play'

An investigation remained under way Monday afternoon regarding a Sunday morning incident in which a suburban man was found dead in a Fullerton Parkway alley.

The Lincoln Park death of a suburban man early Sunday remained under investigation Monday afternoon, though a spokeswoman for the alderman's office says there's no evidence of foul play.

Timothy Gallagher, 21, of the 1000 block of Hawthorne Drive in Crystal Lake, was pronounced dead at the scene in an alley of the 400 block of West Fullerton Parkway early Sunday morning.

Those in the Chicago Police Department's News Affairs Office said police responded at 5:16 a.m., when they got a call about a "man down" in that area. Gallagher, who had suffered head trauma, was dead on arrival, they said.

He may have fallen from one of the higher floors of a building backing up to the scene, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak told the Northwest Herald.

Police declined to specify which Fullerton Parkway alley Gallagher was found in on that block but there are four in the immediate vicinity—two north of Clark Street, close to Lakeview Avenue, and two south of Clark Street. The thoroughfare also straddles two police districts. The 19th District covers the north side of the street and the 18th, the south.

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Emma Rosenberg, director of communications for 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith's office, said Monday that she had been in contact during the day with officials in the 18th District regarding the incident. She emphasized that she had been told there was no evidence of foul play in connection with Gallagher's death.

"There's none, whatsoever," she said. "Everything we've been told actually points to the contrary. This was a young man from the suburbs on a Saturday night."

She said that if there was an immediate safety concern to residents, a community alert would be issued. Officers in the 18th District declined to comment on the investigation, as it's ongoing, including whether alcohol could have been a factor in Gallagher's death. The results of a Monday autopsy were not yet available as of 4:30 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. 

The Clark Street and Fullerton Parkway intersection was bustling, as usual, Monday afternoon. Many residents, including Sam Stephan, 52, were unaware of the incident. He lives in the 300 block of Fullerton Parkway, very near its intersection with Lakeview Avenue.

"I slept in on Sunday," he said, shaking his head. "But I don't recall hearing any sirens. If I did, I don't know that I'd think anything of it. … It's really very sad; sad that something like that can happen so close to home and everyone just continues life as usual, not knowing."

Two women who were sharing a bench Monday outside Park West condominiums, 444 W. Fullerton Parkway, had similar sentiments.

"One of the things that really upsets us is that we don't hear about the crime in the area," said one of the women, who didn't feel comfortable being named. "That's what bothers us the most. It's disturbing. We should all be looking out for each other."

The two said they have called police in the past when they've come across people passed out in an alley across the street. The nearest bar, Neo, is nestled in an alley off Clark Street. But that alley dead ends and does not connect to any off Fullerton Parkway. The bar was not yet open around 3 p.m. Monday.

"If there was some threat to our community, we would talk about it," Rosenberg said. "Honestly, we can all speculate. The police aren't going to say anything until the autopsy is complete … This is really really sad. He was so young. Just 21 years old."

Gallagher was a 2009 graduate of Crystal Lake South High School, according to a report in the Northwest Herald, which also noted that he attended McHenry County College from the fall of 2009 through the spring of this year.

A phone number listed for his Crystal Lake residence had been disconnected Monday.

Stay with Patch for more information as this story develops.

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