Police cam video indicates foul play in Caitlin Erickson death
by Timothy Charles Holmseth on June 18, 2016, 9:43 A.M. CST
Did Caitlin Erickson’s next door neighbors hear her dying?
Grand Forks Police Department (GFPD) officer body-cam evidence obtained by Write Into Action strongly suggests the last person to see Erickson alive – lied to the police.
Mario Parson, the last person known to see Erickson alive was also the person to call police and report her unresponsive.
But -Parson’s version of events does not match up with what the next door neighbor’s heard that night.
Parson described talking casually to Erickson as the two made tentative plans for supper, before he ran a few errands. He said when he returned he found Erickson unresponsive and began trying to revive herby using a cold shower.
Write Into Action’s review of the statements identify discrepancies in Parson’s story that cannot be explained away.
Evidence suggests Erickson may have ‘overdosed’ and instinctively tried to survive by cooling herself in the shower.
If that’s the case – a homicide investigation would be required to determine if the overdose was caused by Erickson’s own over use of drugs – or somebody else’s homicidal intent (i.e. poisoned/drugged/murdered).
Mario Parson telephoned 911 at approximately 10:11 P.M. on February 27, 2015 to report he had found Erickson unresponsive in her apartment. He would tell police he attempted to revive her for about a half an hour before calling a friend at Northland Rescue Mission – and then 911.
Parson told police Erickson appeared fine when he left her alone in the apartment for about 45 minutes. He said when he returned she was completely unresponsive – never to recover.
Parson said when he left Erickson was sitting “Indian style” on the floor and was in the same position when he returned – but completely unresponsive.
But officer cam video captured by GFPD Detective David Buzzo shows that simply cannot be true.
Det. Buzzo interview with Mario Parson:
- Parson said that when he left Erickson at her apartment she was sitting Indian style on the floor.
- Parson said Erickson was talking to him before he left and they discussed their supper plans, which involved Erickson making nachos.
- Parson said he left the apartment for about 45 minutes.
- Parson said when he retuned; Erickson was still Indian style on the floor; now unresponsive.
- Parson said Erickson would not respond to him and he became increasingly concerned. He said he tried to use cold water and an ice pack to revive her with no success. He said he then put Erickson in the cold shower in attempts to bring her around – but without success.
- Parson said Erickson never regained consciousness after he found her.
That’s his story.
That’s what he said to the GFPD detective.
But that’s not what Erickson’s next-door neighbors, Desiray Gomez and Juan Griego-Chavez, heard that night.
Det. Buzzo interview with Desiray Gomez and Juan Griego-Chavez:
- Gomez told police she heard a man and woman arguing next door.
- Gomez said she very clearly heard a male and female voice. The male and female voices were communicating with each other (arguing).
- Gomez said the male was “screaming” at the female.
- Gomez recognized the male voice as Mario Parson.
- Gomez said she heard the arguing intermingled with the sound of the shower turning off and on for about half an hour.
- Gomez said she became so concerned she woke up her children’s father, Chavez. Together they listened to the ruckus. She said they contemplated calling the police.
- Gomez said she heard Parson say, “Where do you think you’re going?” Gomez said she heard Erickson respond but could not make out what she said. Shortly thereafter everything became quiet.
Here’s the problem with Parson’s story.
Parson told police that when he left Erickson in the apartment for about 45 minutes she was talking; and when he returned she was unresponsive and never regained consciousness.
Only AFTER RETURNING to find Erickson unresponsive did Parson say he turned on the shower.
But Gomez and Chavez heard the arguing as part of a ruckus that INCLUDED the shower turning off and on.
The two voices arguing and shower turning off and on were all one event.
“I heard the shower going off for like thirty minutes straight – it was like on and off – and then I would hear like ‘boom boom’ like loud noises,” Gomez told police.
Gomez told Det. Buzzo she thought Parson might have been “beating up on her something”.
“He’s all, where do you think you’re going? And then I heard her say something, then after that, maybe two minutes later, the noise was just completely quiet,” Gomez said.
STATEMENT BY MARIO PARSON (6:35 on You Tube)
Officer: Was she curled up on the floor when you left?
Parson: Yes, she was sitting there. She was sitting there. You know she was sitting there, smoking a cigarette whatever, whatever. And you know she was just sitting there Indian style. And then before I left I said are you going to be alright? You know she was like ‘I’ll be fine.’ I’m going to – you know she was supposed to make some nachos. And I told her you know don’t fix – don’t put the meat on the nachos just keep it separated and when I’m back I’ll fix it you know do my own thing – and she was like okay okay – I left – it had to be like probably about 45 minutes at the most – and I come back and she was slumped over India style”
Officer: “And so she was slumped over Indian style right here.”
Officer: “And then what did you do?”
Parson: “I tried to wake her I’m like Cait – wake up you know what’s going on what’s going on what’s going on? And she wasn’t responding. So I ran and I got the cup of water. And then it’s an ice pack in there and I started rubbing it on her head and on the back of her neck you know shaking her I’m like Caitlin Caitlin wake up – what’s, you know – Caitlin Caitlin and she wouldn’t respond I said well let me take her and put her in the shower in cold water you know see if she…”
Officer: “And how long was that between you getting home and then you calling 911”
Parson: “Probably a half an hour – it had to be probably a half and hour – cuz you I’m thinking she just you know – out – out in a high daze or whatever – whatever you wanna call it – when she would respond to me man – I just tried to you know pour water on her and you know shake her and shake her and shake her – and I thought she was responding – I really wasn’t for sure – I checked for a pulse – I tried this to her chest – you know I wasn’t sure – so I called a friend I’m like man what the fuck what the fuck you know he told me to put some water on her
PREMATURE CONCLUSION OF CASE BY GFPD
Det. Buzzo told Gomez during an interview he had no doubt there was some kind of argument. However, Buzzo told Gomez they did not see any signs of foul play in the apartment.
Therefore – the day after Erickson’s death, Det. Buzzo is ALREADY implying to Gomez that nothing criminal transpired.
Yet– a review of Det. Buzzo’s interview with Parson does not contain any statements that would explain why Buzzo said he believed there was an argument on the night in question. Parson only told Buzzo about a rather laid back evening that included supper plans.
So why did Det. Buzzo have no doubt there was an arguemnt?
The reason may lead to a transnational drug trafficking operation.
Write Into Action continues to investigate.
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