AG King says Albuquerque police botched case
State Attorney General Gary King said Friday that the cause of civil rights attorney Mary Han's death in 2010 may never be known.
King said Albuquerque police mishandled the investigation and made an abrupt, unsupported statement that she killed herself.
An autopsy by the medical examiner said Han died of carbon monoxide poisoning in her idling BMW in her garage.
King has asked the medical examiner to change the cause of her death from suicide to undetermined.
A letter from a member of King's staff to the attorney representing Han's family contained harsh criticism of police. It said in part that:
Numerous people from the police department and city were allowed access to Han’s home.
This interfered with the investigation.
Significant items were removed or are otherwise missing from the garage. This eliminated standard scientific analysis of potential evidence.
A high-ranking APD officer at the scene characterized Han’s death as a suicide before even a minimal investigation had started.
Mishandling of the scene by police limited the potential evidence available to the medical examiner's staff.