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Baltimore state's attorney says Sean Suiter's death investigation still open day after police say it's closed

Tim Prudente, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in News & Features

Last year, The Baltimore Sun reported Mosby's office asked the medical examiner not to make any changes to the ruling on the cause of death in the case, citing lingering questions about DNA evidence.

A previous review of the Suiter investigation by the Independent Review Board -- a group of law enforcement experts hired by the city to review the case -- concluded Suiter's death was a suicide. Gary Childs, a retired homicide detective who served on the board, told the Sun last year there were no open questions about DNA evidence. The panel's 2018 report said "no traceable DNA was recovered from the weapon other than Suiter's."

On Wednesday, Suiter's family and attorney condemned the state police report, saying it was merely rubber stamping the prior flawed investigation. Suiter's wife Nicole, said her family wanted investigators to talk to her and learn her husband's state of mind. She was circled by friends and family members, including the couples' children who wore shirts that read "#JusticeForSeanSuiter."

Suiter's attorney, Jeremy Eldridge said Thursday that Mosby's comments confirm his belief that police detectives and the state's attorney's officehaven't closed the books on Suiter's death. He called the commissioner's words, "It's denied reality."

At Wednesday's press conference with the Suiter family, he said the detective was not as a suspect in the federal probe and did not commit suicide.

"We weren't worried about him being prosecuted," he said. Suiter, Eldridge said, was worried about blowback from colleagues and how other officers looked at him. Eldridge said the department is a difficult place to work.

It's unclear what the recent developments mean for the family to receive any benefits that it might be entitled to receive. A suicide finding could mean the loss of more than half a million dollars in benefits, workers' compensation and pension payouts.

"If the death certificate changes from homicide to suicide, that is going to have a big impact on everything," said York, Pennsylvania-based attorney Paul Siegrist, hired by the Suiter family.

"We want to act. We've been sitting around waiting, over a year," since the independent review board's investigation concluded, he said in an interview Thursday. Initially, he said they thought the death certificate could change. But Siegrist, said ultimately the board didn't have the authority other than to give an opinion.

 

But, he said the state police findings could be different.

Eldridge said there is a workman's compensation matter pending regrading Suiter's death in the line of duty.

"In all fairness, nothing should change," Eldridge said, adding that the family plans to pursue the funds.

The firm Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby that is representing the family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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