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

City Administrator Naomi Kelly said Wednesday that the allegations against her husband were “based on the word of a liar.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Administrator Naomi Kelly takes leave after feds charge husband

High-ranking official under scrutiny over 2016 China trip

High school seniors Shayla and Kayla Bryant receive guidance from 100% College Prep around college admissions. (Courtesy photo)
High school seniors juggling college applications and distance learning

In a final year of high school spent largely online, seniors are… Continue reading

Lyft, owner of the Bay Wheels bikeshare program, stands to receive more than $300,000 in a legal settlement with The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supervisors to weigh $330,000 settlement with Lyft over bikeshare dispute

If approved, deal would resolve an 18-month long legal battle over San Francisco’s e-bike market

The J Church train could begin running again later this month on at least part of its surface route. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
First Muni trains will return to service Dec. 19

Three additional bus routes coming back online in January

Stanford defensive end Thomas Booker recently was one of Pac-12’s Football Players of the Week. <ins>(Pac-12 Screenshot)</ins>
College Football Preview: Oregon at Cal, Stanford at Washington

Cal plays final home game, Stanford plays second of three road games to end regular season

Most Read