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Father of golfer Erica Blasberg still wants answers

August 25, 2010 | 11:12 pm

The father of Erica Blasberg, the LPGA golfer whose recent death was ruled a suicide, said he still wants answers about what happened between his daughter and a doctor whom she spent time with in the final days of her life.

The coroner in Clark County, Nev., ruled that Blasberg, a 25-year-old Corona native who was living just outside of Las Vegas, died from asphyxia after securing a plastic bag over her head May 9. Toxicology tests found the presence of several prescription drugs in her system.

On Wednesday night, Mel Blasberg said he has accepted the coroner's conclusion but wonders about the role that Dr. Thomas Hess might have played in his daughter's death.

It was Hess who found Blasberg's body in her home. Although authorities have ruled out foul play, they arrested him on charges of obstructing justice, alleging that he removed a suicide note and prescription medication from the scene. He has refused to cooperate with investigators, police said.

Neither Hess nor his attorney have been available for comment.

In a 911 call, Hess mentioned having gone to a Las Vegas casino with Blasberg and having subsequent contact with her in the 48 hours before her death. The two had met at a country club and were involved in an unspecified relationship.

"He did something to trigger her," Mel Blasberg said. "I can't totally blame him for Erica's state of mind ... but he could have saved her."

Blasberg had been struggling on the LPGA tour the last two years but, according to family and friends, had turned a corner emotionally and had expressed excitement about playing a qualifier for a tournament in Alabama.

"I've had one simple theme all along," Mel Blasberg said, speaking of Hess. "Tell us what happened. Tell us why she went from excited to, then, killing herself.

"This girl did not have to die."

-- David Wharton