The medical examiner quickly ruled her death a suicide– a conclusion that was mainly based on the train conductor’s recollection of events. The conductor claimed to have seen Tiffany diving onto the tracks right as the train approached, even though he reportedly blared the train horn.
However, the Valiante family does not believe that Tiffany’s death was a suicide– and are now fighting to have her case reopened through a civil lawsuit and her manner of death switched to “undetermined.” According to the family and an independent medical examiner who reviewed the case, there are too many pieces of evidence pointing toward foul play.
First, according to the investigators in Tiffany’s case, she had left her cell phone near the bottom of her driveway following the argument with Diane. Then, a deer camera set up on Tiffany’s property showed her walking away from her house wearing a white headband, white shorts, a t-shirt, and beige slip-on shoes.
Following Tiffany’s death, scent-tracking dogs were able to trace her scent along much of the four-mile route from her home. But, the dogs lost Tiffany’s scent numerous yards away from where she had been hit by the train.
And several weeks after Tiffany’s passing, Diane discovered her daughter’s headband and shoes along the same route in the woods– about one mile from her home. This means that Tiffany would have had to walk the remaining three miles to the train tracks while barefooted.
But, the family’s lawsuit alleges that the autopsy photos of Tiffany’s feet show no abrasions or damage– which would have likely occurred if Tiffany had walked so far through the woods, over gravel, and onto the tracks.
Other issues with the autopsy report also confused or angered the Valiante family. For instance, toxicology revealed that Tiffany was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. Additionally, the medical examiner did not check to see if she had been assaulted.
Finally, there are numerous other inconsistencies in Tiffany’s case that the Valiante family pointed out. Apparently, phone records revealed that her cell had been used over an hour after she allegedly left it at the end of her driveway.
Also, the four-mile route to the train tracks was pitch black, and tree cover did not allow much moonlight in. Tiffany was deathly afraid of the dark– a fear that both her family and friends knew much about.
Near the scene of Tiffany’s death, there was also an axe discovered as well as signs of drug use– which the Valiante family suspects belonged to squatters or young people who hung out in the area.
Perhaps most bizarrely, though, is the fact that the train conductor’s story later changed. At first, he claimed to have seen Tiffany jump onto the tracks clearly. Afterward, the conductor admitted it was difficult to see exactly what had happened.