LPGA Statement from Chief Communications Officer David Higdon:
We are saddened to hear the news that Erica Blasberg’s death was the result of suicide, as she had so much to live for. Our deepest condolences go out to Erica’s family and loved ones. The LPGA is a family, and as a family, we mourn together. This is uncharted territory for us as no one here recalls a case of suicide in the 60-year history of the LPGA.
We will continue to honor the life of Erica Blasberg as we have since we first heard about her death in May. As a player, Erica was a talented, fierce competitor and a dedicated athlete. Away from the competition, she was passionate about doing whatever she could to help others. She established a golf tournament to benefit the Foundation for Community and Family Health. It provided shoes, school supplies, vaccination shots and much more for less fortunate families in her hometown of Corona, California. Erica not only loved to play on the LPGA Tour, but she also played in more than 20 pro-ams a year that helped raise awareness and money for numerous charitable causes.
Through the LPGA medical services team, the LPGA is helping all our members who are coping with this tragic loss.
Coroner Rules Erica Blasberg Death a Suicide
Police Do Not Suspect Foul Play
August 24, 2010 - Henderson, Nev. - Henderson Police Department concluded an extensive investigation today surrounding the death of 25-year-old professional golfer Erica Blasberg, whose death was ruled a suicide by the Clark County Coroner's Office.
While no foul play is suspected in Ms. Blasberg's death, an arrest warrant has been issued today for Dr. Thomas Hess on obstruction of justice charges in connection with removing items from the scene prior to police officers' arrival.
Police were called out to Ms. Blasberg's home at 2620 Hotel de Ville Terrace in the Anthem community about 3:15 p.m. on May 9. Blasberg was found deceased in her Henderson home with a plastic bag secured over her head.
The Coroner's Office ruled the death of Blasberg a suicide due to asphyxia, coupled with the presence of toxic levels of prescription medication in her system.
Toxicology results confirmed the presence of several prescription drugs including headache, cough, pain and anti-anxiety medications. Those drugs included: butalbital, temazepam, alprazolam, codeine, hydrocodone, and tramadol, according to the Coroner's Office. Nevada law does not permit the coroner to release details on the amount of medication present in a decedent's system, only the presence.
"While asphyxia was the primary cause of death, the presence of prescription drugs in Ms. Blasberg's system was a significant factor," County Coroner Michael Murphy said. "Our thoughts are with her family as they move through this tragedy."
The case was initially complicated when the person who called 9-1-1, Hess, admitted to altering the scene. Because the scene was altered and Hess stopped cooperating with detectives, an investigation was needed to ensure that there was no foul play involved with Ms. Blasberg's death.
Hess admitted to removing a note indicating Ms. Blasberg had taken her own life. He hid it in his vehicle along with prescription medications taken from her house. A warrant charging Hess with obstruction has been approved by a judge.
The conclusion to the investigation was delayed as the results of forensic testing took nearly eight weeks to be completed by an outside laboratory.
A copy of the 9-1-1 call placed by Hess will be made available to the media.