Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, November 3, 2006


Page 3


Woman Falls to Death From Court Building


By a MetNews Staff Writer


An autopsy will be performed Saturday on the body of a 39-year-old Hispanic woman who fell to her death from the roof of the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center yesterday, an investigator for the Los Angeles County coroner told the MetNews late yesterday.

“Right now, it appears to be a suicide,” Investigator Elissa Fleak said.

Los Angeles Police Department Officer Emmett Badar, coordinator of the Central Detectives Homicide Unit, said the body of Los Angeles resident Michelle Soza was removed from the scene by the coroner after she plummeted from atop the 19-story criminal courts building and landed on the sidewalk below at the southwest corner of Temple and Spring.

The LAPD is treating the incident as a suicide, Badar said.

“We have no reason to believe it’s not,” he remarked. “We actually have witnesses who, as they came onto the roof, saw her going over and there was nobody around her—that was sworn to deputies from the sheriff’s department.”

Badar added that no bystanders were injured, and the occurrence did not cause a closure of the court building.

The incident reportedly occurred at around 12:15 p.m., though Badar could not give further details about Soza’s background or motives.

Her next of kin have been notified and are being interviewed along with the deceased’s friends, he said.

A Los Angeles Superior Court spokesperson said this is the first reported suicide to occur in the criminal courts building, and confirmed that Soza was not a judge or court employee.

It could not be immediately determined what business she might have had in the building.


Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company