Friends and family of a French national stabbed to death in San Francisco in 2007 are asking why an independent medical examiner’s inquiry earlier this year that contradicted police findings was not released to the public.
Hugues de la Plaza, 36, a dual French-American citizen, was found dead of multiple stab wounds inside his Hayes Valley apartment in the 400 block of Linden Street on June 2, 2007.
San Francisco homicide investigators initially suggested to de la Plaza’s parents that their son’s death could have been suicide. A San Francisco medical examiner later ruled the cause of death “undetermined.”
De la Plaza’s parents and former girlfriend Melissa Nix have insisted suicide was an impossibility and have repeatedly pressed police for a resolution.
The unusual case received widespread attention locally–neither a bloody knife nor a suicide note was found–and this weekend, the national TV crime show “48 Hours Mystery” will run a feature story on it.
The latest report, requested by San Francisco police from a Marin County medical examiner, concluded in March that de la Plaza had been attacked by at least one assailant on the steps of his apartment.
The pattern of blood spatter, footprints and the fatal knife wound to de la Plaza’s neck indicated he was murdered, said medical examiner Michael Ferenc.
The report seems to support the findings of a separate investigation by French police, who concluded last year de la Plaza’s death was a homicide.
The results from yet another review of the case by Los Angeles homicide investigators, requested by new police Chief George Gascon, have not yet been formally released.
Police spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams said today the Ferenc report was part of the department’s “ongoing investigation” of the case.