Family investigation calls suicide into question

Last updated 08:34 13/11/2012
Nadine Haag
'VIVACIOUS': Nadine Haag.

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An Australian coroner has called for an inquest into the death of a former Dunedin woman after a private investigation by her family suggested she may not have committed suicide as first thought.

Nadine Haag, 33, was found dead in her Sydney apartment on December 3, 2009. She had deep wounds on her wrists and a suicide note tucked in her hand. Pills and a razor were also found nearby.

The police concluded Haag had killed herself, and so did not carry out any forensic work or take finger prints at the time. But Haag's family did not accept the ruling, prompting her brother Marcel and three sisters, Chantal, Tasia and Cherie to conduct their own investigation with the help of former Victorian homicide Inspector Lucio Rovis.

The family's story featured in an October episode of the Australian current affairs show Sunday Night, which confirmed a New South Wales coroner had called for an inquest into Nadine's death.

The inquest would include the evidence gathered by her family, which included a second message reading "he did it", found at the scene of Haag's death.

According to the show, the "vivacious" dance instructor had been in an alleged violent relationship, and at the time of her death was locked in a bitter dispute with her former partner. According to Sunday Night, her former partner has vehemently denied any involvement in her death.

It was revealed on the show that in 2009, she had sought two protection orders against Nestore Guizzon, but was denied by police both times.

On the day of her death, Haag had an appointment with her lawyer and had also made plans to travel back to Queensland with her young daughter to visit their family. She was found dead in the shower the next day.

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PRIVATE INVESTIGATION

Police took no DNA, fingerprints or forensic evidence from the scene because they were treating it as a suicide.

Since 2010 however, Haag's siblings have been working to find out what really happened to their sister.

Sunday Night revealed how they recreated the crime scene and discovered two hidden messages saying "he did it", hidden underneath the original suicide note, and the same message scratched on a wall tile in Haag's bathroom, which, disturbingly, police missed.

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The second message was found only months ago by new tenants in Haag's old apartment.

Toxicology reports commissioned by Haag's siblings found the amount of pills in her system was less than the therapeutic amount, Sunday Night reported. The siblings also found her wrist wounds were much deeper than what could have been made by the razor.

At the time of her death, Haag's family questioned the amount of blood found near her, was relatively small when her artery was supposed to have been cut, Sunday Night said.

A brown dress Haag was wearing on the day she died was unaccounted for, as were two knives from a set of six.

On the show, her family said they were "adamant", Haag did not commit suicide. They believed the messages left by Haag in her dying moments proved that. But according to Sunday Night, NSW police interpreted the messages to mean Guizzon drove her to commit suicide.

The full Sunday News video story can be found here.

- Stuff

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