Doctor’s office searched in LPGA golfer death case
June 2, 2010
HENDERSON – Police were looking for a prescription anxiety medication when they searched a Nevada doctor’s house and office in the investigation of the death of LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg, court records show.
Henderson police reported confiscating several computers, two video cameras, a cell phone and a global positioning system from Dr. Thomas Hess’ home, according to an inventory filed after the May 13 searches. Police also seized white plastic trash bags and a computer from Hess’ medical office.
Hess, a family practice physician, referred questions Tuesday to his lawyer, Charles Kelly. Kelly declined to comment.
The search warrant issued by a Henderson judge shows police were looking for alprazolam, an anti-anxiety medication also known as Xanax, plus a particular type of white medium-sized trash bags and samples of Hess’ handwriting.
Blasberg, 25, died May 9 at her home in the suburban hills of Henderson, about 15 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip.
Henderson police have not said how she died, and department spokesman Keith Paul declined again Tuesday to release information about what he called an ongoing investigation.
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Police have said a 911 call that summoned police came from the house, and that Blasberg was alone when officers arrived. Blasberg’s agent said her bags were packed for a tournament in Mobile, Ala., when she was found.
Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy has said it could be late June before toxicology results are complete and he can rule on a cause and manner of death.
Blasberg’s father and golf coach, Mel Blasberg, said Tuesday he never remembered hearing his daughter mention Hess’ name.
“She talked about a doctor she played golf with at Southern Highlands who was her doctor,” Mel Blasberg said, referring to a golf club about a mile from Hess’ home. “She never mentioned his name to me.”
Mel Blasberg said his daughter knew LPGA rules about medications and random drug testing, and was careful about what she took.
He said he knew she took an anti-inflammatory medication for arthritis, antibiotics for bronchitis, and anxiety medication for long airline flights.
“We have to wait for this investigation to reach its finale,” Blasberg said, adding that police were not sharing information with him about the case. “I’m reluctant to say anything else.”
Erica Blasberg grew up in Southern California, and was in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour when she died. Her best year on the tour was 2008, when she earned more than $113,000.
Blasberg played one event this season, tying for 44th in the April 29-May 2 Tres Marias Championship in Morelia, Mexico.