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Troubling Details Cloud CEO's Lover's 'Suicide'

Rebecca Nalepa's case is closed, but some say it doesn't add up
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2011 11:09 AM CDT
Rebecca Nalepa's Suicide Clouded By Troubling Details
San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore talks about his department's findings at a news conference held at the San Diego County Sheriff's department Friday, Sept. 2, 2011 in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

(Newser) – The San Diego County Medical Examiner officially deemed Rebecca Nalepa's death a suicide. Case closed, right? Maybe not. In a press conference on Friday, investigators seemed to tie up loose ends: They showed a video that depicted how Nalepa could have tied her own hands and feet before hanging herself, and discussed their findings. But ABC News reports that investigators made no mention of a few details, and those details are giving new life to lingering doubts. Among them:

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  • The autopsy noted that Nalepa had four hemorrhages under her scalp. Pathologist Cyril Wecht, who is not associated with the case, told News 8 the injuries don't make sense. "You get those when your head strikes something or is struck by something ... even as the body is falling down—let's say there are branches—how do you get bruises on the top of the head as the body is falling vertically downward?"
  • The autopsy noted that although Nalepa's feet were bound with rope, there was tape residue on her legs. Wecht offers two scenarios: Either Nalepa tried to use tape at first then changed her plan (though he notes the tape should be on the scene then), or perhaps someone else "put duct tape around her feet when she was being subdued, and then took it off."
  • One head-scratching detail that was revealed on Friday: Nalepa left an apparent suicide note, say investigators, but it's an odd one. "She saved him can you save her?" was written in black paint on a bedroom door. Her family says it doesn't match her handwriting.
(Read more Rebecca Nalepa stories.)

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