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Tom Nelson was the victim in Dead Space (Case #43 of Pacific Bay).

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Tom was an astronaut working for PASA. He was scheduled to fly the Examiner-1 on an expedition to Mars. At the time of his death, he was wearing an orange astronaut suit.

Murder details

Tom was found up against a car with a large hole in his chest. Roxie had no idea what the murder weapon could possibly be, as whatever made the hole completely cauterized the wound. The only thing she was sure of is that Tom's killer was right-handed, because the body was moved to the car post-mortem and he was leaning to the right, meaning the killer was stronger on their right side.

Amy found broken pieces forming a weird gun in the secret army room. Hannah confirmed it was a laser gun, and had Roxie confirm it as the murder weapon. She also said that one could never fire it without an advanced knowledge in astrophysics, which meant the killer knew astrophysics.

Relationship with suspects

Tom was childhood friends with fellow astronomy enthusiast Astrid Saucer. They both trained to be astronauts with Astrid outperforming him, although she quit when PASA and the Army kept denying the existence of aliens. Tom did not, however, making Astrid feel betrayed. Tom angered mission head Megan Steel because of his constant defiance leading to her personal troubles and getting in trouble with the Army. Army General Freeman was also assigned as First Officer on the mission as protection from potential hostile life, and so was stressed at having to follow Tom's orders. During his training, Tom made friends with "alien" Randolph, who asked Tom to get him to space so he could return to his planet. When Tom refused, Randolph thought him a bad friend. Tom was also the supervisor to the thesis of PhD astrophysics student Brad Raybury, who got frustrated at Tom for not sharing details of his secret missions.

Killer and motives

The killer turned out to be Brad.

Upon admitting, Brad said that he pointed the gun at Tom as a prank. It was to his surprise that the gun fired, killing Tom and giving him a huge hole in his chest. Judge Dante sentenced him to 8 years in jail.

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