New twist in 2-year-old SF homicide

July 17, 2009 7:25:28 PM PDT
The integrity of the San Francisco Police Department is being called into question. Police investigators are being blasted for their handing of a death which they concluded was a possible suicide, but which others are calling murder.

MOST POPULAR: Video, stories and more
SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

It is a case that is now more than two years old of a French and American citizen murdered in his Hayes Valley apartment. The case has still not been solved, and one person says the report calls it a case of complete police policy failure.

Hugues De La Plaza's former girlfriend, Melissa Nix, did not buy the police detectives' claim that his death could have been a suicide. Especially after his family brought in investigators from France who say he was murdered.

Nix filed with the Office of Citizen Complaints, and she says the OCC has issued its findings. She tells ABC7 it charges neglect of duty by homicide detectives, that the murder was given low priority, and that there was a lack of cooperation among agencies.

ABC7 spoke to Nix who is in Virginia. The OCC report was not quite what she expected.

"I was very disappointed," she said. "I waited a year and a half to get a two-page cursory, sort of formatted letter with not very much information."

ABC7 tried to get a copy of the report from OCC, but it was not available. The police department says it has not received it either, so it has no comment.

French detectives did work with local police on the case. The French Consulate says they are trying to cooperate with the San Francisco Police Department, not criticize it. As far as the report, they respect the OCC, but will not comment on their work.

Nix charges the problem lies at the top.

"I don't blame particular investigators at the Office of Citizen Complaints," said Nix. "What I do blame is the system. I think the system is broken."

It has been more than two years since De La Plaza died. The police say it is still an open investigation.

Nix says legal action is coming.

"The handling of this case has been shameful. It's been a farce from the beginning," she said.

Nix is not giving up. She plans to file a civil suit against the city in the next 10 days "to get their attention."

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget


Load Comments