Michele Barton speaks: the death of Tanner Barton

TannerBartonMichele
Tanner Barton with his parents--Michele
and Jeff Barton. 
Imagine waking up one day, thinking your day is going to be great and in a sudden second, all of that changed. This happened to Michele Barton on April 22, 2012 when she received the sudden news that her son Tanner was dead. Barton received a call hours after her son was found. With so many questions left unanswered, she is still trying to find the answers to what happened on that cold Spring night in Kokomo, Indiana. Today, I speak with Michele regarding her son Tanner and his case, as well as, the discrepancies in the investigation and why she believes this was, in fact, a highly suspicious death. 

Sarah: Hello Michele. How are you? First and foremost, I just want to send my condolences to you regarding the death of your son Tanner. I am so sorry for your loss. I am well aware Tanner died over a decade ago, but the pain never goes away. I want to ask, has there been justice for your son's death?

Michele: Hello Sarah. No, there has not been justice for my son's death. In fact, a major injustice has been done with Tanner's case. 

Sarah: Sometimes I hate going back in time, especially if something traumatic happened. The last thing I want to do is let you relive any bad memories, but I feel like asking this question is vital for this interview. Taking you back Michele to the day you heard the words "your son is dead" what were your thoughts?

Michele: On that day, April 22nd--we did not know what to think. We, of course, were in shock. "How could anything happen to our Tanner--I mean, it was Tanner." I was numb and it was as if time completely had stopped. I remember pulling into the driveway, being met by a deputy and the entire area was roped with crime scene tape. The deputy would not allow us to go into the house. "It was a crime scene," he stated. It wasn't until the coroner pulled into the driveway that reality hit us. That's when I knew something bad happened to Tanner.

Sarah: What was the original story you were told?
Tanner-Barton
Tanner Barton with his mother Michele Barton.
"He was built for his job on the football field as
an offensive lineman."


Michele: We were never given an original story. All we had was the initial phone call from Tanner's friend; however, there were numerous rumors which were already circulating. During this call from Tanner's friend Tommy, he stated "there has been an accident and we think Tanner is dead." During this same initial call something drew my attention to what he said. Additionally, he said, "my dad called and told me something bad had happened to Tanner. My dad is on the way out to the house." Keep in mind, that his dad is a veterinarian, so I began questioning why a veterinarian was called. 

A few days later my husband personally asked Tanner's best friend, the same friend who had just previously contacted us about Tanner's death days before, "have you heard anything or know anything about what happened to Tanner?" Tanner's best friend said something very strange to my husband and I quote, "Just let it go, Jeff. Just let it go." On April 23, 2012 (the day after) my sister, was with me and my husband and wanted to reach out to the Lindskoogs' to ask some questions regarding what happened to my son. Mrs. Lindskoog answered the initial call and stated, "I don't know anything because I wasn't there." Then, she hung up the phone on my husband.

Then, my sister took the initiative to call the number again and ask to speak to the lady her brother-in-law had spoken with. Mr. Lindskoog proceeded to answer and say to my sister that there was no woman there and no woman here the night before. My sister responded by saying, "my brother-in-law just spoke to her, I want to speak to that woman." Instead of putting Mrs. Lindskoog on the phone, Mr. Lindskoog said, "here, speak to Marcus." My sister made it clear she did not want to speak to a kid and was calling to speak to the adult who was there that night. Mr. Lindskoog hung up on my sister. 

Sarah: There are so many red flags already. I have to ask, what did the police originally tell you? 

Michele: The lead detective stated when he arrived at the crime scene that he knew that they were lying and that they had already formulated a story. He separated the family members and their family friend, Dr. Todd Cooney, and proceeded to make them go outside. He lined them up with a space of about 10 feet between each family member. He had a deputy monitor them. He stated that he did not want them to continue to collaborate their story before transferring them to the Howard County Sheriff's department in separate squad cars. 

Our entire family was told by the coroner the day of Tanner's death that his death was highly suspicious. We were also told that the Lindskoog house was known as the party house. At the time, the Salazar children were living there too. The coroner told us, "that house is evil." The coroner went on to explain to my husband and I that Tanner's blood/alcohol content was very low at 0.063. He was hoping an upcoming autopsy, scheduled for the next day would bring more answers and garner greater clarification as to what really happened to Tanner that night.  

Later that week, the lead detective on the case contacted me and said, "after the autopsy results he was unable to explain what happened to Tanner." As a result, his death was highly suspicious. The lead detective requested our family meet with the coroner, the pathologist, and himself. Our family met with them and sat down with all of them. Interestingly enough, the lead detective said, "In all of our years combined, we have never seen a perfectly healthy nineteen-year old die for no reason." 
MicheleBartonTanner
Michele Barton and a young Tanner Barton
in the 90's. 

Sarah: Absolutely devastating and you still have no answers. Originally, a friend of Morgan Ingram's contacted me and asked if I heard about the case of Tanner Barton. Upon independent investigation into your son's case, I noticed quite a few awkward discrepancies. One of them being a fifteen-year old serving Tanner alcohol the night of his death. To me, this is a red flag. I am confused as to why a fifteen-year old is serving a nineteen-year old alcohol. Can you explain this a little further? 

Michele: This is a question that haunts me daily, as me and my husband want to know as well. Why would a fifteen-year old provide a nineteen-year old a beer, a couple fruity drinks, and give him a  "pineapple juice mixture." One disconcerting factor was the 0.75 liters of hard liquor (the rum) was almost full when they started drinking yet Tanner's blood/alcohol level was only 0.063 percent. Anyone knows this is below the legal limit and equivalent to two beers for an individual who is Tanner's size. 

The fifteen-year old (who is now in her early 20's), who is his friend's sister alleges that she never drank before that night yet the next day she did not give any indication of the after effects of drinking. How could a petite fifteen-year old girl consume that much hard liquor within a 60-minute time frame and not show any evidence of over consumption of this much hard liquor? Sarah, if Tanner had consumed this much hard liquor in such a short time, it is clear his blood alcohol level would have been much higher. This created further suspicion in our minds that there had been more than two people consuming alcohol that night. 

NOTE: Ketamine users are known to "mix" pineapple juice with the drug to lessen it's bitter taste. A witness from that house openly admitted to the detectives that the pineapple juice container was intentionally hidden in some panty hose in the laundry room.

Sarah: Positional asphyxia prevents a human being's body from being exposed to oxygen based on the position of the body. This is usually (not always) caused by physical restraint and/or excited delirium. Do you believe that Tanner was restrained or was resisting any sort of violence upon his death? 

Michele: No, I do not believe that anyone was trying to restrain him. It would have taken an army of men to be able to do such. My son was extremely strong and was a heavy weight wrestler during his high school career. He broke all of the previous high school weightlifting records. After reading through the statements from the family and learning from the crime scene photos that Tanner had an unusual amount of blood on his face, I truly believe some sort of foul play took place. Even the original coroner stated to me, "someone did something to your son--it was not of his own doing." 

Sarah: Most individuals who die from positional asphyxia suffer something else before they actually do die. For instance, Florence Griffith Joyner died of positional asphyxia. As many believe she had a seizure before her death, many true crime theorists believe she was actually strangled. Either way, the latter proves she suffered prior to dying from the positional asphyxia, which is evidently clear. 

Michele: The original coroner told our family that they had ruled out the possibility of a seizure when they performed the autopsy. The original coroner also told me that there were signs of an overdose and that his death was highly suspicious. 

Sarah: When you looked at the toxicology reports, regarding the death of your son, what did they reveal to you? As a mother, upon examining the reports, what did you notice wrong? 

Michele: We were not supplied with any toxicology reports of any kind. It wasn't until after I called the wrongful death attorney. He turned over all of the files within his possession regarding Tanner's case, three years later. The idea of waiting this long really made me angry and sad at the same time. Initially, I did not notice anything regarding the toxicology reports, but then again, I was more focused on the conflicting statements which had been provided to the sheriff's department by the Lindskoog and Salazar family. It wasn't until we began working on Tanner's case with FOHVAMP (Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons) and a few other experts, did we realized the toxicology reports from the Howard County Lab and the AIT Forensic Lab were conflicting. This confirmed our suspicions that some type of cover up had taken place. 
Tanner+Barton
Tanner Barton was academically endowed and made
the dean's list frequently throughout
his freshman year


Sarah: Can you tell me more about why you suspect the drug Ketamine was present in your son Tanner's system? 

Michele: The following scenario caused me to begin to question what really happened that night:

The initial phone call from Tanner's friend, stated to me that "his dad called him and was on his way out to the house." After this phone call I became very vocal stating over and over--"Why was a veterinarian called before myself and 9-1-1?" 

Some two months later, I was contacted and met with an individual who knew the veterinarian and had reached out to me because she had heard I was asking this question. The individual proceeded to inform me that this veterinarian had previously lost his license for seven years due his addiction to Ketamine. In fact, he had actually overdosed on Ketamine in his own home.

After this meeting, I began researching the effects of Ketamine. Then, I compared these facts with what had happened to my son. I was shocked to find the results were exactly the same. 

Sarah: I discovered an article regarding a Dr. Todd Cooney from Kokomo, Indiana. Is this the same vet mentioned in the article here

Michele: Yes. 

Sarah: Tanner stayed with a family the night of his death, where the minor gave him alcohol. This is a major red flag within itself. It is extremely baffling to me that this was overlooked, as alcohol is a contributing factor to positional asphyxia. Additionally, it is evident Tanner was a very bright individual and I just don't see him as the type that would get so intoxicated, it would jeopardize his future. 

Michele: Sarah, Tanner's blood/alcohol was 0.063 which was below the legal limit, so the amount of alcohol in his system did not cause him to suffocate. However, when alcohol is combined with Ketamine it becomes a deadly combination. Ketamine is a paralytic which basically renders an individual unable to re-position them self. As a result, this causes them to suffocate if their body is in a compromised position. Tanner was a very bright student. My son made the dean's list both semesters of his freshman year, while playing college football and unofficially tutoring other players. 

Sarah: Attacking the victim seems to be a major problematic issue when it comes to anything in the realm of true crime. Currently, the deceased is not protected by any laws, so anyone can speculate what happened. If this means blaming the victim for their own death or theorizing inaccurately to fit a certain narrative. I noticed several people online have described Tanner as a "morbidly obese guy with a short neck and enlarged heart" before insinuating he died from positional asphyxia. What do you want those people to know who make these types of claims? 

Michele: I am no different from any other parent who lost a child under suspicious circumstances and who wants to know what really happened. My son was built for his job on the college football field as an offense lineman. Offensive lineman are notorious for having thick, strong necks and large waists, as they need to be able to do their on-field jobs effectively. Strength and conditioning coaches work hard to prepare these athletes for their position. Tanner performed at a very high level as an offensive lineman. My son was even touted by his college coaches as an individual who would become an all-American due to his hard work and physical assets. In all of Tanner's medical records and sports physicals, there has never been any indication of an enlarged heart nor any pre-existing heart condition. My son had no medical issues at all. 

Sarah: Absolutely. Now, you have appeared on both Dr. Oz and Nancy Grace. After you appeared on both of those shows, what happened with Tanner's case?

Michele: I appeared on the Nancy Grace show in late 2017. After the podcast show aired, Dr. Todd Cooney's attorney sent a cease and desist letter to Joe Scott Morgan, the death investigator and the same letter was also sent to Nancy Grace. So, the second part regarding the death of my son was never released. After I appeared on Nancy Grace, I went on the Dr. Oz show. The show aired on February 13, 2018. One month after the show aired, an associate of the Dr. Oz show told me that effective March 29, 2018 they terminated all involvement with Tanner's case. 

On that same day I was informed that Dr. Oz's associate was mad at me because someone else went on national television and mentioned my son's cell phone, without giving the Dr. Oz associate the credit. Strangely enough, one month after this associate terminated her involvement with Tanner's case, she worked with the Howard County Sheriff's department to close my son's case based on a new theory. A theory with no forensic evidence to substantiate any of their findings. 

Sarah: This is absolutely outrageous. I am so sorry. I am so sorry this happened to you and your family.

Michele: Thank you. 

Sarah: Some people paint you as a mother who suffers from Munchausen syndrome. They say you cannot accept your son's death. I know you do not have Munchausen syndrome simply because of what you are telling me today. This is, without question, a highly suspicious death. I believe those who say you have Munchausen syndrome enjoy creating false labels and pseudo diagnoses to fit their narrative. I have watched several people do this throughout the years as a personal ad hominem attack to any mother who questions the death of their child. I also believe the people who have made these remarks will be reading this interview. What would you like those people to know about you?
TannerBartonDeath
This couch was part of the crime scene. There are
unidentified marks on the couch cushion
which appear to resemble blood.
What are they?  

Michele: People will always have their opinions, but when it comes to abusing and harassing grieving families for their own personal enjoyment and vendetta, this reveals a special kind of evil. 

Sarah: Michele, why do you believe Tanner's death is highly suspicious? This leads me to the question--do you think your son was a victim of foul play?

Michele - I am not the one who came to the conclusion that my son's death was highly suspicious. Originally, this conclusion came from the coroner and the detective before and after the autopsy. After reviewing my son's case file, it is obvious why we were told this. I believe my son's death is highly suspicious and I am firmly convinced that he was/is a victim of foul play.

Michele Barton is now the force, the face, and the voice for her son Tanner. As a mother with a voice, her message is clear. With so many questions left unanswered, Barton will continue to use her voice to get what is rightfully deserved--justice. Will there ever be justice for Tanner Barton? We can only hope. 

For more information: 

Tanner's Voice on Facebook 
@Justice4Tanner on Twitter

Michele Barton is currently protected by the 1st amendment of the constitution. Any threats or any forms of intimidation regarding legalities are verboten by law, as Mrs. Barton is allowed to exercise her rights as a citizen of the USA. Her natural rights shall not and will not be undermined nor defined in a court of law. All information displayed in this interview pertaining to other third-parties are public record and are not considered defamation nor libel in a court of law.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Such a tragic story for so many reasons. My heart goes out to the Barton family. I hope somehow justice is truly served someday.
Anonymous said…
I'm wondering how thoroughly everyone was questioned and if you have nothing to hide, you certainly don't hang up on a mother who's son just died at your home! It's too bad that they (everyone partying at that house that night) weren't all tested after Tanner's death. I'm betting several of them were provided ketamine from the drug addicted veterinarian! Shame on all of the adults who allowed this to happen and then covered it up. You all need to be doing jail time!
Monica said…
This is heartbreaking! Everyone involved deserves punishment. I'm praying for justice and closure in regards to your son's very suspicious death. Continue to rest in peace Tanner❤
Helen said…
What I think happened was, the ketamine was already mixed with the pineapple juice and the girl gave it to him without thinking. I’m thinking the mother premixed and this Todd Cooney kept it there for himself. When they found out Tanner consumed it, the called the vet because they didn’t know what to do and since he had history with the drug he’s the one who came over and tried to revive Tanner. I think he killed him. The guy should be in jail.
Rajesh said…
I'm from India and this happens often. Corrupt doctors get access to drugs and try to sell them or get addict to them. I hope Michele gets justice for her son but we live in a life where corruption is alive.
mytenaciouslife said…
I am so sorry for your loss! I lost my father to murder 25 + years ago, suspicious as well, and never found out who did it. Thank you for sharing this story. It is something that never leaves you and affects your life daily, whether we realize it or not. My heart goes out to the family and Tanner's mother. Many prayers and hugs!
Anonymous said…
Sadly, Unless one of the children that are now adults ever come forward this will remain unsolved. Michelle your effort has been incredible and heart wrenching! I do know one thing, they can hide on earth, but they will burn in hell when the ultimate judgement day comes!! In my opinion, the best chance for honesty is that someone that was there finds God in their life, and comes forward with truth so they can ask him for forgiveness. I pray that happens!
Darla said…
Something about the doctor rubs me wrong. What was said on the coroner reports regarding Tanner’s health? Sarah, you should do a Q&A taking our questions. I want to know if he was tested for ketamine and what the toxicology results are.
Shadow Reaper said…
I am so sorry for your loss Michele. This happened to my little brother back in 1999. We found out 8 years later that there was a pre-made mixture of ghb and exctasy in an orange juice container which he drank. I would say this story is more messed up because they called the vet before 911. Just crazy.
Ann said…
Thats terrible!
I know how hard it is to lose someone... I have been through that the last couple of years now, my best friend, my brother, my sister in law, my father... its hits you hard.
Jessica said…
Wao this is a really sad and story.
Ivana Mearns said…
What a sad story. It must be very difficult to deal with something like this. Loosing someone is always difficult but this must be just soul crushing.
This is such a sad story as well as an unsolved mystery. I hope she finds the answers she needs.
Anna said…
I've recently become a mom, so this breaks my heart. What a strong mom and what a terrifying story.
wow that's crazy. i can't even imagine loosing my kids like that.
Elicit Folio said…
This is such a sad story, especially when the autopsy results did not come back with answers. I wish you justice
Anonymous said…
So sad to know about her son Tunner. May his soul rest in peace. I'm sure her mom will be missing him like hell everyday
Rachael said…
I am a fan of crime investigation. This is a beautiful though sad story.
Ntensibe Edgar said…
Aaahhhhhaaaaaa....this is the kind of content that gets me mad! The innocent and aggrieved face injustice yet the guilty and the criminals walk away scot-free. Tanner's death cannot be in vain.
mail4rosey said…
One can only hope the conscious of the person or people involved convicts them to confess, at some point, so this family can have that peace. My condolences for the loss of their child.
Oh my, I can't imagine living with that. An incredible and soul searching story
Cyndi Buchanan said…
What a tragic story. I hope that one day she finds the answers she is looking for. Maybe one of the people will confess.
Krisitne Nicole Alessandra said…
It is so heartbreaking for the parents to go through this. All they want is to know the truth and somehow, no one wants to give them that. I hope justice would be served. May Tanner's soul rest in peace.
I've never heard Tanner's story until today. The idea that these people were hanging up on them and not doing everything in their power to help or console a grieving family is suspicious to me.
Matt said…
Such a heartbreaking story. I can't imagine going through something like that. I hope someday proper justice is served.
Anonymous said…
This is so sad and it breaks my heart. I definitely think the vet is responsible.
To lose a person we know is always a very difficult time in our lives, especially when it is not their time. I've been through it, especially when I lost both my parents a day a part.
Dominique B. said…
What a horrifying and sad story -- my heart goes out to the Barton family! I was thinking the same thing that Helen above said. I think the ketamine was in the pineapple juice and he got it by accident. I am so sorry this happened to them and I hope they find some justice!
Melanie said…
This is a very sad story to read for sure. I can only begin to imagine how you must be feeling xxxx
Melanie Frost said…
What a roller coaster! I'm not even related to the son and even I want answers. The fact that the Dr Oz show even treated her that way is reprehensible. I'm sorry for her loss.
Greg King said…
Continued prayers that truth is found in all of this & most of all for peace,comfort & healing for the Barton family.
Greg King said…
Continued prayers that truth is found in all of this & most of all for peace,comfort & healing for the Barton family.
Lashunta said…
Sending prayers and comfort to his family.
Michele Barton said…
Thank You Sarah Afshar for allowing me to tell Tanner's story. And thanks to those who commented with your kind words and support.We have so much more to tell and we will be telling it on Sarah's blog. Tanner was left to die at his friends house! They checked his pulse and left him, they didn't get an adult or call 911 for 6 1/2 hours! I believe he was given a drug, and he overdosed, they panicked, or they thoughypt he'd sleep it off..who knows! All I know is my son is dead and they are walking free.#TruthForTanner
Michele Barton said…
To anonymous.. They were not questioned thoroughly! I have seen the video statements and read them as well..The Detective failed Tanner that day! Had he put a little pressure on them we would not be here 8 yrs later wanting answers. And as for the "family friend"- the veterinarian, he lawyered up that morning! Not only did he lawyer up but, kids who were ALLEGEDLY not at the house that night..their parents lawyered the up as well. #TruthForTanner
Kerry said…
Wow! What a roller coaster of a story! My heart absolutely breaks for this amazing mother! Prayers for her and her family that justice will be served!
Lily said…
Wow what a heart wrenching story. I am so sorry to hear about what happened!
this must really be one of the toughest times for the family. all i can give you is my prayers... and healing.
emman damian said…
It's a sad and tragic story! Must be really tough for the family. Prayers for them so they can heal!
Lyanna Soria said…
This is such a heartbreaking story and I feel saddened that any mother would go through this. I hope that justice would be served and for the evil people to be locked away.
Anonymous said…
Tricia Griffith of Websleuths told me that you and Michele are stalkers and internet trolls. After reading this interview it is clear she is the internet stalker and troll. Her obsession with you is disturbing. Michele deserves to know what happened to her dear son.
This is such a heartbreaking story. Sending prayers to them and those who need healing.
Anonymous said…
This story is heartbreaking! I pray one day this mom gets the answers she needs and Justice is finally served!

I see someone mentioned Websleuths in the comments..steer clear of them!!! I have watched for several years now how they attack grieving families because they think they are detectives, when actually they are glorified internet trolls who attack and stalk people if they don't agree with their theories. Tricia Griffith was actually sued by websleuths a few years ago for "soliciting personal loans from members" and misappropriating funds! I hope this mom is not on Websleuths radar.. She deserves answers not harassment by wannabes.
K said…
I am sorry for Michele’s loss. Was the pineapple mixture ever tested?

I can tell you first hand Tricia Griffith is a real nutcase and I will be the first to admit I gave her money. I had no idea she was sued. I haven’t talked to her since 2010.
Jessica said…
I read the article about Dr. Todd Cooney in Kokomo, Indiana. How is he still a vet? Like what is wrong with the state of Indiana and the VMB to reinstate his license? I’m a vet and the ketamine addiction is 100%. It would make sense why he was called if that drug was put into something her son consumed. That drug should never be consumed by humans. Cooney is a disgrace.
Anonymous said…
I was one of Tanner’s high school teachers. Though his death was tragic, it was his life that I remember. Tanner was an exceptional young man. He was loyal, dedicated, outgoing, intelligent, kind, and a jokester. He made a difference in his short life.
Anonymous said…
Thank you, Tanner's teacher, for focusing the discussion on Tanner. It's good to hear from someone who actually knew him and isn't using the comment section for ax grinding.
Michele Barton said…
As far as we know the "pineapple juice mixture" was not tested. To be honest I doubt they even put 2 and 2 together! They didn't even do drug/alcohol screens on any of the family members that morning. Nor did they do cell phone extractions on any of their phones..even though they knew instantly they were all lying, and during questioning and kept asking who's contacting them. At one point even asked Tanner's friend why he mentioned the police. They FAILED Tanner from the beginning! And then 6 years later FAILED him in the worst way! We are continuing to work towards getting his case reopened..Tanner deserves the TRUTH to surface!
Michele Barton said…
@ Tanner's teacher..Bless you! He was the real deal. Thank you for the kind words. He is missed beyond words.
Michele Barton said…
I actually knew my son and hell yes I have an AX to grind!! This isn't a feel good hallmark story that the truth needs to be hidden! We appreciate when someone remembers our amazing Tanner.. We really do! We also appreciate those who see the WRONG that was done to him and call it as it is..Foul Play and Corruption
Christina said…
Very suspicious death indeed. If that vet was called, that Cooney guy before 911 or the parents it’s because that ketamine was in the pineapple juice. Did they find ketamine in Tanner’s system? What did the toxicology reports reveal?
Anonymous said…
The ax to grind statement had absolutely NOTHING to do with you, Michele. Your son sounds like a wonderful young man who left this life far to soon most probably with the help of others. My statement was never intended to be about you but about others making posts naming people that have nothing to do with your tragedy. I'm sorry you interpreted it otherwise.
Anonymous said…
Tricia Griffith? Tricia has nothing to do with anything one way or the other. No one listens to her, not even Websleuths' members. Could we please focus on this sad story? What can we do to help Tanner and his family?
Ifeoluwa said…
Such a heartbreaking incident! My prayers to the Barton family may God comfort you
Rachel said…
Personally I think that Dr. Todd Cooney is guilty indirectly and I think those in that house know it. They called him because I believe the ketamine was already in the pineapple juice. If Cooney hung out with Carol or Jeff Lindskoog this would make sense. I can see why Michelle is upset. I bet that doctor will never get in trouble. Imagine all of the innocent people he has done this to. Imagine the many animals he has harmed. Michelle deserves justice for her son.
Anonymous said…
I use to think Michele had Munchausen Syndrome as the people of Websleuths were spreading this narrative. But after reading this interview, I think its clear something bad happened to Michele’s son. I wonder what happened.
Anonymous said…
I’m an investigator. I want to ask—Michele, did you notice anything belonging to Tanner missing? Just curious.
Anonymous said…
I just went to Websleuths to check out their take on Tanner. I saw nothing blaming Michelle with Munchhausens. In fact, the few posts I saw talked about the injustice of not testing Tanner immediately for ketamine even though his mother had begged authorities.
Anonymous said…
Heartbreaking.
Anonymous said…
I don’t trust that vet.
angelina belle said…
This is such a sad story. It makes me really wonder what might have happened
Anonymous said…
I wonder who went on a rampage at the sleuths deleting what they said about Tanner. I wish people would stop attacking the victim. You are fools if you think this vet guy is innocent. He has a record and one of them is for punching his own sister because she confronted him about his ketamine addiction. Ketamine is mixed in sweet juices and it gives it a bitter taste. I can’t believe people actually believe this guy and are attacking Tanner.
Anonymous said…
So 350 pounds all muscle is morbidly obese? I’m Tanner’s size and I weigh 365 and I’m an offense lineman in the NFL. Damn I would hate to die and have someone tell me I died because I’m morbidly obese.
Michele said…
@NFL offensive lineman. That killed my husband,he knows how hard Tanner worked to get where he was at!(The long hours and years of training) They victim blamed Tanner just to help make their ridiculous theory more believable to the public! Thanks for commenting...
Rick said…
Tanner has a muscular neck. Not short. Only an out of shape, sick slob would attack his appearance and use that as the reason he died.
Frank said…
I knew Tanner and he worked out hardcore. He has rarely any off days. He was tossing tires and pulling trucks. The guy was a beast. Definitely didn’t die because he was morbidly obese. Propaganda for sure. The guy had a bench of 500+ and was full natty.
Lamar said…
I played football with Tanner. Someone sent me a link to this interview. I literally cried when I heard he died and I don’t cry. He was never a druggie and the guy was strong. Definitely not obese. He wasn’t lazy. The guy was squatting a quarter ton. Tanner had the talent to make it to the NFL and he was a good guy. He helped me pass college algebra and calc. He was my brother from another mother and I’ll miss him for the rest of my life.
Anonymous said…
Tanner wasn’t “morbidly obese”. He was a big guy but not obese. Anyone who says he’s morbidly obese is a skinny weakling who is jealous. I played ball with him in college. The Salazar’s are known for being drug addicts. They are definitely behind his death. I knew Tanner and he isn’t someone who would just die at someone’s house. Salazar a liar for sure.
Anonymous said…
I read on a website that he died from positional asphyxia and then after it said he was morbidly obese with an enlarged heart and short neck. That was weird.
redheadmomblog said…
That is so sad the way it sounds like his death was handled. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
Anonymous said…
Thank you to whoever sent me a link to this. Tanner was one of my best friends. I never knew how he died but heard rumors back in 2012. Tanner never did drugs. I always thought that was a hoax made up by someone. I hope whoever is responsible for his death reaps what they sow.

Tanner I miss you buddy. I’m praying everyday you get justice. Hope you are playing ball and singing in Heaven. Someday we will meet again soon.
Michele Barton said…
@Tanner's football brothers. Thank you for telling everyone the truth about Tanner. You seen him daily, and knew that the Public Media Releases by Howard County Sheriff's Department and others were nothing but Lies! They victim blamed Tanner using his size because they wanted to sell their ridiculous theory to the public...and they had to sensationalize it to do so! They were also exposed in the media for NOT investigating..So they obviously played Dirty Ball to save face because of their Inept Investigation and cover-up! #TruthForTanner #Justice4Tanner
Michele Barton said…
We are working on part 2...I will be answering many of your questions, and digging deeper into Tanner's case! Thank You all for your support!
#TruthForTanner
#LeftToDieByTheFriendsHeTrusted
#CoverUp
#RidiculousNewTheory
Lisa said…
If they waited to call 911 and called this guy, this vet doctor it is because he knew what was in the stuff Tanner consumed. Ketamine was probably in the juice. The shoes are probably missing because the ketamine would have been traced to Tanner’s vomit. I think the Salazar girl knew it but lied for her mother because the mother was having an affair with the vet. Rumor has it the vet is actually married to the mother who hung up on Michele’s sister or husband. Those people are def involved I think.
Michele Barton said…
I need to clarify something. I have given nothing but the facts from the investigation.

If people have gathered their own opinion, then that's their opinion. Maybe if Howard County would have actually investigated Tanner's death, then they would see what everyone else sees! But they didn't..

Tanner deserves the TRUTH and We will not back down!

It's obvious after this last "hail mary" investigation in 2018 that HCSD was not investigating to get the Truth, but to shut me up any way they can!

Well facts don't lie and we have proof that someone tampered with the toxicology!

#FactsDontLie
#FriendsDontLeaveFriendsToDie
#TruthForTanner
#911SavesLives
#YouFailedHim
#Justice4Tanner

Rick said…
Tanner was an athlete. He was big but not obese and definitely not morbidly obese. I hate whoever is spreading this lie. I played ball with Tanner. I knew him. How fcking dare whoever started this lie to pass it on as fact. He worked hard in the gym. He was an offensive lineman you fckers.
Anonymous said…
My kids went to Northwestern with Tanner. Our hearts broke when he heard Tanner had died. He was such a good kid and he was loved by everyone! He was always so polite when he was at our house, and FUNNY too! His parents raised him right, he had a bright future ahead of him.

I can't say as much for the kids from that "known party house". Most parents in the NWS community knew all about the after football parties where kids could drink and smoke marijuana freely. I had read where the Barton's didn't find this out until after Tanner died, that makes since since Tanner went to Howard until 7th grade and didn't really hang out with that crowd. In fact I always remember him hanging out at the bowling alley, he was a damn good bowler.

The rumors that were circulating amongst the parents were that drugs were involved, we were in disbelief! But, as many of us said look at the house he was at, anything could be possible.

We also heard that the police knew it was drug related but looked the other way because Marcus was the class president, and playing college football in the fall. He had a former liaison officer save his butt just a few months prior to Tanner's death. We can't help but wonder if that officer once again came to his rescue!

The parents and kids from NWS community supported the Barton's then an we continue to support them now!

Michele Barton said…
I have been told that Tricia Griffith of Websleuths, is reaching out to people and telling them that I am a stalker.

I have proof that I was stalked for several years, the freak even did jail time!

I also have proof that individuals used the family court system to file false charges against me...just to shut me up! Todd Cooney being one of them!

Not sure how Tanner's death and these fake stalking charges are related, or why they are so important to Tricia?! But I will be addressing this issue, so she can quite harassing people with her false and misleading information!
Michele Barton said…
I have been told that Tricia Griffith of Websleuths, is reaching out to people and telling them that I am a stalker.

I have proof that I was stalked for several years, the freak even did jail time!

I also have proof that individuals used the family court system to file false charges against me...just to shut me up! Todd Cooney being one of them!

Not sure how Tanner's death and these fake stalking charges are related, or why they are so important to Tricia?! But I will be addressing this issue, so she can quite harassing people with her false and misleading information!
Anonymous said…
Why would someone want to kill Tanner? Was it an accident or was he targeted?
Tanners Mom!!! said…
I have to address the IGNORANCE...I couldn't shut up any longer!

This is for the ones who continue with the obesity theory that Howard County came up with in their "hail mary" investigation in 2018...

1st off how do you live with yourselves?

How can you attack a deceased young man, someone you've never met before?

Does it make you feel superior? Does it make your ratings soar? Does it make you look like a hero to your fans?

Well let me tell you...It actually makes you look pathetic and desperate!

You've never seen my son, you don't know his size.

So here's some education for your ignorant minds....Muscle weighs more than fat!

Repeat After Me...

!!!MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT!!!

!!!MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT!!!

!!!MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT!!!

You obviously didn't get far in school or you'd know that fact!

You should also know that the BMI scale is antiquated and hasn't been updated since the beginning of time!!!

*TANNER COULD BENCH PRESS OVER 500 LBS.
*TANNER COULD DEAD LIFT OVER 650LBS
*TANNER WAS NFL MATERIAL

Your simple minds can't see past a narrative that you were told to continue to share ..just to make a GOOD kid look BAD!






Bry said…
Tanner was a beast in the gym. I watched him toss one of those large tractor tires before that weigh 500-600 pounds. The guy was not obese. He was one of my best friends. He went to that house to hang out with Marcus and Tommy. He ended up dead after. It just wasn’t him or in him to go there unless he intended to drink and shoot the shish with them. The mother (Carol) was banging doctor Cooney while married to Lindskoog (Jeff). She use to walk around half naked and even get in the hot tub with us. I never went back after that. I did she doctor Cooney and asked him if there was drugs put into what Tanner drank or if that was his go to mix and he denied it all. He told me he felt insulted I would even ask him and said he was in the process of suing the Barton’s for saying it. He told me Tanner took adderall. I could tell he was lying but how he looked at me. I hope one day the truth come out. Tanner deserved better and there just isn’t a way he died of what they said.
J said…
Hello. How are you? I’m currently an independent podcaster and I couldn’t help but notice you talk about Tricia Griffith and Websleuths. I’m working on a story of interest and I would like to interview you regarding it. If you are interested please let me know and give me a number to reach you. I believe you have a lot to say and it’s only fair you tell your story. Thanks. -J
Michele said…
Bry.. Interesting that you mention Tommy being there, we believe he was there as well. Even more so after the latest "hail mary" investigation in 2018.

The few days after Tanner died, Tommy was around our family a lot. Jeff put him in charge of gathering the Pallbearers. He was also with our family during the private family viewing of Tanner. That's how much a part of our family he was, we loved that kid.

It was during that week that he showed Jeff and a close family friend a picture. He said Tanner had sent him that picture the night he died. This picture was of a bottle of alcohol, he said Tanner sent it to him to show him how much he had already drank that night. Which we thought was odd, why would Tanner text his friend at 3am showing how much he had consumed?

In 2018 Tanner's cell phone was sent to the FBI for a phone extraction. That picture did NOT pull up, nor did a text conversation between Tanner and Tommy!

Which means that picture would've had to of come from Tommy's phone..NOT Tanner's! Which would allegedly place Tommy at that house that night!

This same week he told Jeff.. "Just let it go Jeff, just let it go" when Tanner's dad asked if he knew or heard anything.

If you can provide proof to us that Tommy was there that night, please do.

Prakhar Kasera said…
It good that you are raising voice for such issues, and being brave enough to share it globally. I frankly have no idea about the victim or the case but I sure hell do pray for his soul and justice for their family. Truth shall come out, sooner or later it will.
Michele said…
So, he's in the process of suing me for?? Freedom of speech? Factual information from the case file? Not sure, but I will file a countersuit. Also, he will have to file here in Texas. In a defamation suit the petitioner files in the state of the defendant. So, maybe this time I will receive notifications of court dates/hearings etc..since it will be outside of Howard County.

ALL files have already been turned over to my attorney!
Michele said…
@J... Thanks but no thanks!

Tanner and myself are victim's of their relentless defamation. I stand up for us, I tell the truth..that's my side of it!


Pam said…
My uncle Roger use to be really good friends with Jeff and he told me Carol was a major you know what and was sleeping with Cooney while married to Jeff. That house was known as the party house. There were syringes there and lots of alcohol. The girls who lied to police have a history of bad behavior. The one Salazar who is kind of fat. She actually was in rehab. I find it laughable they would tell police they didn't drink. They are liars and I definitely think it is a suspicious death. I also think they got rid of Tanner's shoes because it is obvious there was stuff traced back to Cooney. Cooney can actually lose his license permanently if he were ever found out or even linked to that drug. That makes sense why he would try to sue Michele Barton. I know he was on probation back in 2005 and lost his license before getting it back. He tells people he loves homeopathy and it helped him get over his addiction but my uncle Roger can tell you otherwise. Roger stopped talking to him because he is a liar. I feel awful Michele is going through this. I hope she gets the answers she deserves one day.
Anonymous said…
I believe with the vet’s history and track record and his involvement with the Lindskoog’s he had something already made up in the pineapple juice mixture Tanner consumed. That’s why the son confessed to Michele that he called him and he’s going to the house. Is this guy this much of a closet addict he’s putting this in everything? My brother was addicted to drugs. I don’t trust drug addicts. Even recovered they can’t ever be trusted. No one fully changes in the world we live in. I pray the truth comes out about this.
Family friend said…
This cooney has a very seedy background and has done bad things to many people. I know Michele and have for many years. I also know the people involved in Tanner's death. And what Cooney has done to her is sickening! He actually wrote Michele a letter a few days after Tanner died and called her "cruel and inhumane" for accusing that family of hurting Tanner. Hows that for a Dr's bedside manner? She had every right to question their involvement, it was a crime scene for gods sake! Not only that but a highly suspicious death.

Todd cooney actually filed false charges against Michele Barton back in 2016 to try and shut down a march she held for Tanner. He of course tells a different story, but we all know he is a liar. He gave the court a wrong address to keep Michele out of the initial hearings. He then was able to have someone purposely keep a hearing date out of the system, so when Michele was served, the court date was missing, and he was able to get a 2 year Protective order against her because she didn't show up for the hearing(10 days later), a hearing she knew nothing about. There was a signed affidavit by the serving officer stating there was no court date in the papers he served her, in fact there weren't any court dates sent to the sheriff's dept. Howard County is so damn corrupt! Does this sound like something an innocent person would do? He went to extremes to shut down a website and a march! He's the one who is cruel and inhumane!
I seen where DR OZ allowed Cooney to make a statement. In this statement Cooney lied about Tanner's appearance and mentioned the fake charges he got on Michele. That's a pretty low blow for Dr Oz to revictimize the Barton's! Michele has done nothing but questioned what really happened to Tanner hell we all do! Nobody believes the many different stories those people tell and they change their story often! One day the truth will Surface and Tanner's family will finally have some answers.
Linda said…
Doctor Cooney told me that he was being harassed by the Barton’s but after reading this interview I’m not sure I believe him anymore. I think he may fear them because Kokomo is a small town and he’s a popular doctor here. But the ketamine thing regarding him in 2004-2005 is true. For those to say otherwise you are helping someone hide. You can’t trust anyone who is addicted to drugs and they can relapse at anytime. I don’t like talking bad about others but certain things aren’t adding up. What he’s telling people and what Michele is saying in this interview. Now I am wanting to know more. I’m from Kokomo and I know both Cooney and Barton. I’m not friends with either but I don’t know either well enough. I have heard Cooney say to people he planned to sue Michele and get a TRO but that was 5 years ago. I haven’t heard anything since and knew nothing of Michele’s side.
Anonymous said…
What happened to Tanner’s shoes? Were they ever recovered? What happened to the pineapple mix? Was that ever tested?
Anonymous said…
6:18 - I know Cooney personally. He told me Michele’s sister went into his office and yelled at him that day calling him a murderer and told several people who had appointments that she told them about his past with ketamine. Some took their pets and left. He called the cops and her sister was escorted off. He said she returned and was standing out in front of his office screaming that he killed her nephew and then tried to run him over. I honestly don’t know what to say because he’s giving others a different story. He also told me he received threatening text messages Michele and her sister. This interview is definitely a slap in the face because I knew none of this. He and Carol and their kids have a different story.
Anonymous said…
Why was Cooney even called before 911? Was Tanner tested for ketamine? Maybe something was in that pineapple drink.
Anonymous said…
Tricia Griffith told me she believes you can’t accept Tanner’s death and she’s saying Sarah is a sensationalist. She’s calling you both stalkers and saying you Michele is paying you Sarah and calling you third world. I never saw this side of her and although I don’t always agree with you Sarah, I definitely think she’s wrong about you. Why is she attacking you? I don’t see how interviewing someone means you are getting paid. She’s all over social media asking for money and I never once saw you ask anyone for money.
Anonymous said…
I’m a judge and have been for almost 25 years now. Michele can appeal these charges against her. This Cooney could actually do jail time if what above said is true. The law is not an army and will not be his personal army to silence someone.
Michele said…
No One harrassed Cooney, if telling the true facts from the case file and outside witnesses is harrassing him, then maybe he is feeling some heat.
My family is not harrassing him! He tells a totally different story, than what actually happened! My sister did go to his clinic, she asked to speak to them, they refused to talk, my sister asked the receptionist a few questions and then left. There was NO police escort out of the clinic lol and she didn't try to run him over!! My sister is very soft spoken and professional, she would NEVER make a scene like he is accusing her of doing. In fact, the prosecutor told our family that cooney himself had to be escorted out of the sheriff's department after becoming angry at them for not filing harrassment charges against me. We were told he made several attempts and was denied each time. He didn't like what I was saying on MY social media, they told him she has you blocked, so how are you seeing anything? They then said now who's harrassing who?

My sister did go back to the clinic, but only to give them a flyer for the Justice for Tanner March, thinking if they were concerned with helping us find the answers in Tanner's death they would want to participate. Carol came out and they had a civil conversation! We have a witness and it was filmed.

I did NOT send cooney harrassing texts. Yes, I sent a few NON-threatening texts asking him what happened, my attorney can contest to this.
Cooney did provide the courts "one text" he claims was harrassing, a text he claims I sent. BUT it was on a date that my records can prove I did not send!

He has gone out of his way to shut me up. Yet, he's been asked on numerous occasions by national media, journalists, podcasters, radio shows etc... to tell his story, and he declined every time. WHY? But proceeds to get fake charges filed against me, cease and desists against media, left the Dr Phil show etc...

I have no reason to lie. My son id dead because he trusted the wrong people. All I want is the TRUTH.
Michele said…
@Judge... Yes, this 100% true. Sadly there are more details that can prove this was illegally obtained. I also, have been illegally silenced by another group of individuals. I take their aggressive attempts to silence me as guilt..


@Anonymous ..not sure why Websleuths is on the attack. I did hear they were impersonating me though, and getting banned from Websites. That's just more evidence for me to turn over to the FBI. I honestly could care less about Tricia and her Websleuths. I actually feel sorry for her. She obviously has nothing good going on in her life, because if she did, she wouldnt feel the need to attack grieving moms and their deceased kids.
Anonymous said…
Where was his body found in the house? On the couch? I’m curious.
Tina said…
The real victim is Tanner and for those people to say he died of something and then say "he was morbidly obese with a short neck" is really really really disgusting. There are many people who are morbidly obese who just don't die this way. It's clear something suspicious happened and no doubt that vet is involved in someway because if he weren't, he wouldn't try to silence you regarding this. Why was he called before 911? Just weird.
Helen said…
What I think happened was Tanner consumed alcohol. I personally believe it wasn't what killed him. I believe something was in that pineapple mixture. It was pre-made and I am sure it was someone's special concoction. I believe Tanner died on the couch and I believe the marks are from someone trying to revive him. Considering Tanner is a good 350 and people in the house probably couldn't lift him, they tried to but instead drug his body to the bottom of the stairs where they left him. I think they got together to form the story and I believe they called the Cooney guy as the pineapple mixture probably had the ketamine in it. To save his own butt, Cooney obviously went and talked the others into probably not dialing 911 because he would have been in a lot of trouble. To save face he went after Michele Barton legally to get her to back off to against save his own butt. This is personally what I believe happened.
Anonymous said…
It’s disturbing how this guy put fake charges on her for questioning him. I hope you appeal the charges. I understand libel and defamation but that’s very extreme. I never heard of this case but I am a regular reader of sarahs blog. I’m so sad this happened to you. As a mother of 2 girls I would be devastated if something like this were to happen. I hope you get the answers you are looking for.
Anonymous said…
I have always felt that this situation was so wrong, it is very sad what people can do when they know certain people, money talks and bull crap walks so they say. It makes me sick to think about this , I can't imagine for the life of me losing a child, then to have people not CALL me first!! OMG...That is a HUGE RED FLAG!!! Why on earth would you call a veterinarian?????? I smell a serious cover up!! God knows exactly what they have done, they can hide the truth, but they sure as heck can not run from it..IT WILL RISE!!! The TRUTH will rise...
AD said…
Michele is one kick ass mom! She has been through hell and back, yet still smiles. She has fought hard the last 8 yrs, looking for the truth, fighting for answers. It's obvious these people are lying- the police have obviously confirmed that. What I find disturbing is the people trying to silence her by using their friends in the Judicial system! Todd Cooney did it in 2016, in an attempt to shut down the Justice For Tanner March. And then there is Laura Pettler - Dr Oz's person who in 2018 worked with a friend of hers(and judge) to get false charges filed against Michele, claiming she stalked them. Seriously? Michele a stalker? Haha What these people have done is criminal! I have seen documents from Fulton/Howard County and these people definitely abused the system just to shut Michele up for her comments on social media! I guess they couldn't accept the fact that someone finally stood up to them.

OMG.. the hate Website Laura Pettler made about Michele. Is sickening! WHY? What's the need for it? I seen where Pettler mentioned the stalking charges against Michele..but she didn't tell the real truth, only a piece of it woven in with her lies! And my question for Laura Pettler is how did you get these legal documents from family court when they are sealed? I know Michele didn't give you permission to use them..soooo? How did you legally obtain them? And why are you using them for malicious intent? Michele..have you gotten an attorney? What they are doing is ILLEGAL! How are they getting away with what they are doing?

I hope and pray that one day these people are finally held accountable for Tanner's death!
Anonymous said…
WTH? I just googled Dr Todd Cooney and up popped his BS fake charges against you Michele. How are the records public? Did you see that? Sarah.. You need to do a story on how Todd Cooney worked the system to get fake charges against Michele..it was criminal! Someone has obviously manipulated the search engine. I seen it was a hate website by Laura Pettler. Does Dr Oz know she treats former guests this way? Michele isn't she the one who got mad at you because she didn't get national recognition for Tanner's cell phone? Is this why she made a hate website? OMG what the hell is wrong with these people?! What if their child died? Hang in there Michele and keep searching for answers.. It's obvious many people have a lot to hide just by their actions!! #Justice4Tanner
Helen said…
Cooney should be in jail for that. If his attorney went and put charges on Michele and had the TRO sent to the wrong address that is highly illegal. I am a former prosecutor and that is one thing you can’t do. You can’t have certified writs sent to wrong addresses to hide or change dates.
Helen said…
Normally court issued writs and summons are delivered to the proper addresses. If the person (in this case Michele) does not appear on the fixed date because it was delivered to the wrong address then the court may issue bailable or non bailable warrants. Police have to comply with the directives of the court as such it is their duty to serve the summon to the correct person to the correct address. What Cooney did to Michele is highly illegal and she can appeal the charges against her in a higher court.
Helen said…
Why would Cooney feel the need to sue Michele? It’s public info he had issues with ketamine, Valium, and adderall. He went to one of the best rehab clinics and relapsed. His sister confronted him and he attacked her. Something was in the pineapple mixture that he drank. That’s why they called Cooney before 911. That also explains why his shoes are missing.
LawGal said…
Sarah, there are 2 people who are canvassing the internet trying to turn people against Michele and you, their names are Mayra Martinez and Tricia Griffith do you know them? I have researched their background and am disgusted at what they have done to grieving families and their supporters! They are scary and should have been imprisoned long ago. These individuals have attacked, stalked, impersonated, slandered etc..so many innocent people and it seems they have gotten away with it for years. I believe Michele 100% she has no reason to lie! Tanner deserves the truth to come out and she has the right to tell it!

There is a reason these people are attacking her so aggressively, but for WHO and WHY? Sorry, I just thought you both should know what's going on behind the scenes by these evil twins.

Michele keep pushing onward..you are a mom who knows!
M m m said…
My heart reaches out to Michele. I follow her on Twitter. I'm so confused as to why authorities didn't investigate fully, what were they hiding? It's so obvious that the minimum was done in Tanner's death investigation. There are so many things that don't add up...and I'm just someone on the outside looking in!
Please keep writing about this case..these people need exposed! A true friend would never leave their friend to die!
Anonymous said…
Tricia Griffith and Mayra Martinez are trash and very jealous. Someone should ask Tricia why she walks into 5-star resorts wearing dirty clothes and carrying a black trash bag. Yes folks, I saw Griffith walking into crime con about a year ago carrying a black trash bag. Who does that?
Anonymous said…
Does anyone know if and how much blood was at the crime scene?