Local News

Former detective in Duke lacrosse rape case commits suicide in Georgia

Posted July 7, 2014 3:44 p.m. EDT
Updated July 7, 2014 4:32 p.m. EDT

— One of the lead investigators in the 2006 Duke lacrosse rape case committed suicide over the weekend in Georgia, multiple sources told WRAL News Monday.

Former Sgt. Mark Gottlieb, a 16-year member of the Durham Police Department, died Saturday, a medical examiner in Dekalb County, Ga., said.

His cause of death was unclear.

Gottlieb, 51, retired from the police force in 2008, nearly two years after three lacrosse players were indicted on charges of first-degree rape, sexual assault and kidnapping stemming from an exotic dancer's claims that she was beaten and raped during a party in which she had been hired to perform.

Gottlieb was the supervisor in the investigation, and faced criticism for how he handled the case.

It was dismissed more than a year later after special prosecutors with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office found no credible evidence to support any of the woman's claims. Attorney General Roy Cooper called the players victims of then-District Attorney Mike Nifong's "tragic rush to accuse."

In the wake of the case, Gottlieb was among numerous defendants named in several civil lawsuits – all of which have since been settled or dismissed.

After retiring from the police department, he eventually moved to Dekalb County, where he worked as a paramedic until his death, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Funeral arrangements weren't clear Monday, but sources said Gottlieb will be buried in Raleigh on Friday.