Phoenix police Officer Sean Drenth's death ruled a suicide

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by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

azfamily.com

Posted on December 6, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 6 at 10:34 PM

PHOENIX -- Investigators say a Phoenix police officer found shot to death in October 2010 most likely killed himself.

The Maricopa County medical examiner will rule the mysterious death of  Sgt. Sean Drenth a suicide on Wednesday. Investigators brought in outside experts in forensics and ballistics to assist in the case. Most believe the evidence points to a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump.

Drenth was found  in a parking lot near the state Capitol in October 2010. He'd been shot to death but because of a confusing scene, investigators were unsure if it was a suicide staged to look like a homicide or a homicide staged to look like a suicide.  

While the medical examiner will label Drenth's death a suicide, Phoenix police will still keep the case labeled a "Death Unknown" due to a number of unanswered questions about the scene.   

There are unexplained fooprints and DNA, along with questions about Drenth's three guns found at the scene. One had been thrown over a fence, his rifle was on his chest, and another pistol was by his side along with his handcuffs and flashlight. 

Drenth's widow and mother say they do not believe he would have killed himself.

"Our hearts go out to the family," Crump said. "This is not what they wanted to hear."
 

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