Albuquerque Police Suspiciously Fail to Investigate High-Profile Attorney’s Murder

Katie Kim of reports:

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Friends and family of Mary Han, a high-profile Albuquerque attorney found dead inside her home in November 2010, have always maintained she was murdered, even though medical investigators and police ruled her death a suicide. But News 13 has obtained a document, filed by an APD officer who was at the scene two years ago, that alleges it was a staged murder.

Han, 53, was a civil rights attorney who often went after bad cops.

She was found in her North Valley home dead inside her BMW in a closed garage. Her feet were up on the dash and investigators said the house smelled of carbon monoxide. But detectives also noted her car was not running.

Han’s family said she was not suicidal and her jewelry was missing. They said police may have been biased and did not follow up on possible signs of foul play.

APD was criticized because of its response at the scene. An inordinate number of officers and brass flocked to the scene and there are accusations that officers were making jokes. One officer was punished for posting on the Internet that there’s “a special place in hell for her.”

“With as much personnel that showed up at that scene as reflected as if there had been a shooting, I thought that it was odd,” said Tom Grover, a former APD officer who resigned last December.

He is now a UNM law student.

Grover, who was a good friend of Han, was one of the first at the scene. He said the day after Han’s death, he received a chilling call from an APD lieutenant.

“(The lieutenant) had overheard discussions with detectives at SID commenting that the scene involving Mary Han was a staged murder, that it was a homicide,” said Grover.

The lieutenant said it wasn’t suicide and recalled detectives saying Han was “clearly taken out,” according to Grover’s report.

“People had said specifically that they needed to do a full toxicology screen on her body, not just a standard battery for poisons but a full blown spectrum of poisons and then also to do a careful review of any indications of struggle in her neck and facial area,” said Grover.

Grover filed a supplemental report with APD records, which was time-stamped about a week after Han’s death. But the report is nowhere to be found in Han’s case file.

“I raised the flag of something is wrong here, and this really needs to be processed with some objectivity and that concern just got cast aside,” said Grover.

An APD spokesperson confirmed the report is missing in the current file, but police are unsure if the report was either mistakenly not added to the file or if the document was never submitted to records in the first place.

Police said it will do a full “top to bottom” search to try to locate the report.

Han’s family is suing APD in civil court, claiming the department botched the case.

Report: Lawyer death points to murder

Submitted by Joe



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  • ” investigators said the house smelled of carbon monoxide.”
    Smelled of carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide is odorless.

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  • certain

    The house smelled of exhaust. Most cops are too dumb to understand that carbon monoxide is only one component of internal combustion engine exhaust, ergo, the house smelled like carbon monoxide. But since she had dared to commit contempt of cop nobody gave a shit anyway. “Murdered, suicide, it’s all the same. At least we’re rid of her now.” What a freaking bunch of ass-hats.

  • t.

    No matter the amount of evidence…the family believes it was that means it was? Sounds exactly like how most woman commit suicide. The almost always remove jewelry, and the do it in a way as to not disfigure their face.

  • Common Sense

    It will make an excellent movie for Lifetime Network.

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  • Jean

    The family said the jewelry was MISSING. IE, removed from the home.
    Not just “not on her”, as you seem to have read things. this implies a theft, which might easily be covered up by an apparrent suicide. Hence, reasons to check the neck for injuries such as broken vertebrae or excessive bruising/striation marks of strangulation.

    Obviously there was no evident blunt-force trauma to the head, or this wouldn’t even be posted here. But what about tape residue? Bruising on the wrists or ankles? Or, if she was sedated – how to find out now? Tissue samples, were they taken? If so, are they in good condition? Or are they degraded? What about toxins vs. preservatives? Lots of forensic information lost due to drawing out the case – including such things as a needle mark.

  • tom davis

    The Albuquerque police dept. where our motto is: “We don’t need target practice we’ll just use YOU…”

  • Andy Moore

    Mary Han reportedly was beginning to work with the families of the West Mesa Murder victims and had information on cops who were involved. The “elephant in the room” at the Task Force team at APF is described in the following excerpt.

    As writer Sally Denton wrote in The Daily Beast — “Cinnamon Elks, one of the seven who have been identified so far, told friends shortly before her August 2004 disappearance that “a dirty cop was chopping off the heads of prostitutes and burying them on the West Mesa,” according to Joline Gutierrez-Krueger of the Albuquerque Journal. Police have not revealed the causes of death, so whether the victims were decapitated is unknown.

    APD took her files – an unusual step for a police force to do at a suicide. They took them because of what they containted about the APD involvement in the murders.

    APD has much to fear – like 11 counts of first degree murder, assessory before the fact, after the fact, and the ongoing coverup. Feel free to share feedback to: