Police Say SJ Woman’s Death No Longer Considered Homicide
SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Police have determined that a North San Jose woman thought to have been murdered Wednesday died for another reason based on witnesses statements and physical evidence, a spokesman said Friday.
The department’s Homicide Unit at first believed Kitty Newman, 62, was killed after seeing injuries on her body consistent with physical trauma, police spokesman Sgt. Jason Dwyer.
But detectives changed their initial theory following interviews with additional witnesses, processing physical evidence and consulting with the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office, Dwyer said.
The final results of an autopsy will not be known until toxicology tests are completed and reviewed, Dwyer said.
Police arrested a 43-year-old San Jose woman on outstanding warrants after interviewing her as a person of interest in Newman’s death, but she is not in custody on suspicion of homicide, Dwyer said.
The re-evaluation of the cause of a person’s death is not uncommon in police work, Dwyer said.
“I have explained to the media on multiple occasions that information released in the preliminary stages of a criminal investigation often changes as the investigation progresses,” Dwyer said in a prepared statement.
“With the possibility that (Wednesday’s) death was a homicide, and operating in line with law enforcement best practices, we investigated the case as a homicide and announced it as such to the public,” he said.
At 10:24 a.m. Wednesday, police were dispatched to the Creekview Inn studio apartments at 965 Lundy Ave. after the San Jose Fire Department reported suspicious circumstances, police said.
Earlier, the fire department responded to an emergency call about a female in distress at an apartment there.
The woman, who was conscious when fire personnel arrived, died at a hospital at 11:09 a.m., police said.
From early indications, police announced to the media that Newman appeared to have been San Jose’s 30th murder victim of the year but then said Thursday that they had changed their opinion.
Police released Newman’s name Friday morning.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)