A Los Angeles Police Department detective who was investigating rape allegations against NBA star Derrick Rose died after being found with a gunshot wound in a Whittier home Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
The Los Angeles County Coroner's department on Wednesday identified her as 44-year-old Nadine Hernandez.
LAPD sources who were not authorized to speak publicly about the case confirmed that Hernandez was one of two detectives assigned to the Rose case and that she was a detective in the department's Robbery-Homicide Division Special Assault Section. She frequently was involved in high-profile sex crime cases, authorities said.
Whittier police received a call at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday reporting an attempted suicide in the 8400 block of Via Sierra Ramal, Whittier Lt. Steve Dean said.
Hernandez was taken to PIH Health Hospital in Whittier, where she died at 3:27 p.m., according to Dean and the coroner's department.
It was unclear whether the death was a suicide or a homicide, Dean said.
"We're investigating it," he said.
LAPD investigators responded to the house Tuesday, but Whittier police are conducting the investigation, authorities said.
Law enforcement sources said that the house where Hernandez's body was found belonged to a relative, and that it appeared she had died of a single gunshot wound.
Property records show the home was registered to a retired LAPD lieutenant.
News of the LAPD's investigation of Rose came to light Wednesday as an attorney representing the woman in a civil case against Rose and other men made a last-ditch appeal to a judge to conceal her identity.
The woman's attorney, Brandon Anand, filed a request, in light of the LAPD's investigation, asking U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald to reconsider a decision to have the woman identified during trial.
Anand included in his request a letter from Hernandez, whom he identified as the officer investigating the case. In it, Hernandez wrote that being able to offer anonymity to people who come forward to accuse others of rape is "an invaluable investigative aid to investigators." She added that the LAPD would continue to guard the woman's identity throughout its investigation.
The plaintiff and her attorney were visibly surprised at the news of Hernandez's death.
Source:Los Angeles Times