A Los Angeles police detective who investigated sexual assault allegations made against New York Knicks star Derrick Rose died after she was found with a gunshot wound, The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.
Los Angeles County Coroner’s department spokesperson Lt. David Smith confirmed to USA TODAY Sports that Nadine Hernandez, 44, died at an area hospital on Tuesday. Police in Whittier, Calif., responded to a residence after a caller to 911 reported a suicide attempt.
Whittier Lt. Steve Dean told The Los Angeles Times that it wasn't clear whether Hernandez's death was a homicide or suicide.
"We are investigating," Dean told the newspaper.
Smith said an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.
Hernandez sent a letter to lawyers representing the alleged victim who accused Rose and a friend of sexually assaulting her last month where she described LAPD’s investigation as ongoing. The letter was part of another bid by the alleged victim’s legal team to keep her identity secret at trial.
"The ability to offer anonymous to victims of sex crimes is an invaluable investigative aid to investigators as well as a great comfort to victims of crimes of such a sensitive nature," Hernandez wrote.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald criticized the filing before the start of the civil trial, which is underway in Los Angeles.
“The most recent and egregious example is the publicity given to a letter from an LAPD detective to plaintiff’s counsel, which would never be admissible at trial,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said the alleged victim’s lawyers may have violated the California Rules of Professional Conduct — which forbid “threatening criminal charges to gain advantage in a civil dispute” and “prejudicial trial publicity” — by making the letter public.