Preliminary Autopsy Indicates SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi Suffered Extensive Heart Disease: Sources

Sources tell NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit that preliminary autopsy findings indicate Public Defender Jeff Adachi suffered extensive heart disease. It’s the latest information as the probe continues into the suspicious circumstances surrounding his sudden death.

Any final determination on the cause of Adachi’s death on Friday will have to wait until blood toxicology tests come back. Meanwhile, new details continue to emerge about the confusing and suspicious events of that night.

NBC Bay Area has learned that the woman who used Adachi’s phone to call 911 has been identified.

The woman, identified as Caterina in both the police report and in the 911 call log, is a Colombian national whose true first name, sources say, is Catalina.

Remembering San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi

f5b25 778 Preliminary Autopsy Indicates SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi Suffered Extensive Heart Disease: Sources

Authorities are currently looking for Catalina, who called at 5:41 p.m. using the name Caterina. She told the dispatcher that Adachi had a stomach ache while at dinner, and later stopped breathing at 46 Telegraph Place.

According to the police report, by the time police arrived, the caller who had been with Adachi was gone. Instead, police met another woman at the scene, a friend of Adachi’s, a real estate agent named Susie Kurtz.

According to the police report, Kurtz said that she spoke to Caterina at the scene. She says Caterina told her that Adachi had two glasses of wine before she went out and got him a pill he requested to treat stomach pains. Records show that medics took him to California Pacific Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 6:54 p.m.

Police reports indicate that officers were summoned to the location by the Medical Examiner. But the officer who wrote the report noted that while en route to the Telegraph address at 8:37 p.m., the dispatcher cancelled the police response.

In the report, the officers write that they decided, because of the “suspicious nature of the call,” to respond to the scene anyway.

The officer who wrote the report, Adrian Payne, said that he asked the director of operations for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Chris Wirowek, about the decision to call off the response.


Questions Surround Jeff Adachi’s Death

f5b25 Questions Surround Jeff Adachi s Death Preliminary Autopsy Indicates SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi Suffered Extensive Heart Disease: Sources

The death of Jeff Adachi, one of San Francisco’s most visible public figures, remains littered with questions as several members of the city’s legal circles are questioning why police categorized it as a “suspicious death” investigation.

(Published Monday, Feb. 25, 2019)

Wirowek — who apparently was at the hospital — told Payne that he had no reason to believe there was a crime scene at the address, but added that the death was still under investigation.

Finally, sources tell NBC Bay Area that in addition to the missing witness, the police have also been unable to find Adachi’s cell phone or wallet.

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