French sleuths granted access for interviews

Interview requests from French authorities now in San Francisco inquiring about the mysterious death of a French-American citizen were approved and delivered Monday through numerous subpoenas from the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Hugues de la Plaza, a 36-year-old sound engineer, was discovered dead June 2, 2007, in his blood-spattered Hayes Valley apartment. Homicide investigators and an assistant medical examiner were called to the scene about 8:30 a.m. after a neighbor reported blood on the porch and doorknob outside of the apartment.

The French investigators, Fabian Charry and Patrice Reiller, as well as French Criminal Judge Brigitte Jolivet, arrived in San Francisco on June 7 and were granted access to evidence in de la Plaza’s death in an agreement with local authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The French delegation began their investigation Monday morning at the Hayes Valley apartment where de la Plaza was found dead.

Under the diplomatic agreement, all interviews are being conducted with the federal courts involved. Among those subpoenaed were de la Plaza’s close friends, Melissa Nix and Christophe Schuhmann, as well as the owner of the nightclub Underground SF, one of the last places where de la Plaza was seen alive.

Police Chief Heather Fong said San Francisco police have been cooperating fully with the investigation, adding that “French authorities, however, have not assumed and will not assume the lead investigation of this case.”

Although family and friends of de la Plaza say police did not pursue the case as a homicide, but rather seemed to conclude it was a suicide. On Monday, San Francisco police Deputy Chief David Shinn defended homicide detectives, saying they never told anyone that the death was considered a suicide.

The theory, however, has never been ruled out, and the manner of death is still officially deemed “undetermined,” say authorities.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Mayor London Breed announces The City’s return to the red tier for COVID-19 precautions at Pier 39 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco enters red COVID tier, indoor dining to resume

Museums and gyms can reopen with capacity limits

Cities including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are calling for large grocery and drug store chains to pay employees hazard pay for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shutterstock)
SF proposes $5 hazard pay law for grocery, drug store workers

San Francisco may soon join the growing number of cities requiring large… Continue reading

The deYoung Museum will reopen to the public March 6 with an exhibition of works by Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso. (Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
de Young Museum to reopen with ‘Calder-Picasso’

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, The City’s museums and cultural institutions are reopening.… Continue reading

Oregon forward Lydia Giomi (14) goes into block Cardinal Hannah Jumps (33) shot and narrowly misses. No. 13 Ducks host No. 6 Stanford Cardinal at Matthew Knight Arena on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. (Tribune News Service)
Stanford women enter Pac-12 Tournament as No. 1 seed

College basketball schedule for March released

(Travis Dye/Oregonlive.com via Tribune News Service)

Most Read