Digging Deeper: Unanswered questions swirl around Picture Rocks death investigation

Digging Deeper: Unanswered questions swirl around Picture Rocks death investigation


a 53 year old grandfather is dead his family heartbroken but what happened after he died and the way the investigation was handled has the family pushing for answers yes our digging deeper team has uncovered the results of an internal affairs investigation this 22 page report from the Pima County Sheriff’s Office of Professional Standards goes into detail about the investigation into the death of Bruce Sutton it also shows how three deputies and a sergeant were formally reprimanded for the way they handle the case we’ve also learned that Sutton had called the Sheriff’s Department nearly half a dozen times since April according to the Sheriff’s Department incident reports Sutton first called 911 activity on his property he told deputies two people were stealing from him he also believed one was living in his attic and claimed he heard voices Sutton also told investigators he had a game camera that caught the intruders in the act but deputies say they never saw any video proof on May 27th the deputy wrote he Sutton appears to be having a mental crisis however Sutton told the deputy he’s not crazy and refused to speak with a mental health professional or to be evaluated at the Crisis Response Center on July 10th deputies responded to this home the incident report says it was a Czech welfare call from a friend according to the report neighbors hadn’t seen Sutton for more than a week and a half deputies and the neighbor both smelled a foul odor coming from the bedroom they forced entry and found the home was filthy with trash all over the place just as they had seen it previously when they responded to calls from Sutton the bedroom door was locked so deputies pushed their way inside that’s when they found Sutton on the floor in a severe state of decomposition the deputy saw a pill bottle on the bed but couldn’t get to it because of the conditions of the room slippery floor and biohazard fluids Sutton had three children who lived in Michigan they spoke with news for Tucson over the phone telling us they are not satisfied with how the Sheriff’s Department handled the investigation into their father’s death absolutely the last time they spoke to their dad that was the last time I or any of us to talk to him three weeks later Joey Sutton got a call from the Sheriff’s Department initially got the phone call days they claimed natural causes we basically said okay like did he go to bed did he what happened with it and she said it looks like you went to bed and he has to be asleep the family flew to Tucson when we showed up to his houses when everything started hit the red flag started throwing and that’s when we started asking questions and that’s when everybody started just like pushing I saw those red flags according to family members the house was in shambles it appears it had been ransacked Sutton’s wallet and cell phone were missing the family says they were the ones who asked the office of the medical examiner to do an autopsy because according to the incident report after giving the ome a summary of what they had ome said they will not be responding due to his medical conditions and the doctor being willing to sign the death certificate they’re not going to go out to the scene because there’s nothing suspicious about it it’s hunters that neither clog the cops are there and they’re doing the deputy failed to mention the prescription bottle on the bed when drugs are involved the ome is supposed to respond to the scene to recover the body and perform an autopsy they didn’t report what they found is a metal examiner saw the metal examiner waive their jurisdiction that’s not all the family learned they also contacted their father’s doctor doctor refused to find a death certificate for natural cause because he does not deposit the autopsy was conducted on July 19th nine days after Sutton was found dead it listed the manner of death as accident the toxicology report showed Sutton tested positive for amphetamines methamphetamine and alcohol was he a drug user the family filed a complaint saying they don’t want this to happen to another family that way we have been treated and the Sheriff’s Department investigated and determined there were issues with the investigation they sent news for Tucson this statement that reads in part during a difficult time for the Sutton family they brought to our attention there can CERN’s regarding the death of a family member although no words can adequately express our sympathy the Pima County Sheriff’s Department sends condolences to the Sutton family the statement goes on to read the internal review discovered deficiencies in the patrol response as a result three deputies received written discipline the review of the case by the Homicide Unit did not find any criminal aspect related to the death of mr. Sutton and the deficiencies identified in the internal review did not affect the final disposition of the case it should be noted the autopsy conducted by ome revealed methamphetamine use and possible overdose by the decedent the sergeant who handled the case was also disciplined you can go to our website if you want to read the complete statement by the Sheriff’s Department digging deeper lupita more EO news for Tucson

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  1. That's a real shame! Law enforcement officers have the duty and responsibility to take every potential crime very seriously!! My condolences to the family and friends of Mr Sutton!!

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