Columbia police close sexual assault case of former MU swimmer

2 years 8 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, March 18 2015 Mar 18, 2015 Wednesday, March 18, 2015 10:54:00 AM CDT March 18, 2015 in Mizzou Xtra
By: Jessica Mensch, KOMU 8 Reporter and Mark Bergin, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
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COLUMBIA - After more than a year of reviewing evidence, Columbia police say the were unable to identify a suspect as the Sasha Menu Courey sexual assault case comes to a close.

Menu Courey was a former MU swimmer, whose suicide prompted national attention including ESPN's "Outside the Lines" report.

Police cited a number of obstacles in documents sent to KOMU 8 News, one 44 pages and one 31 pages, including: no information available to clearly identify a subject who may have sexually assaulted Menu Courey, not being able to get a statement from the late Menu Courey, no forensic evidence, no video evidence, and witnesses either refused to cooperate or witness information was hearsay.

"From not returning phone calls or if they did answer the phone saying they didn't know anything and didn't want to be contacted by police, "Latisha Stroer, Columbia Police Department Public Information Officer, said.

She also said the four year gap between when the incident likely occured and when the investigation began, also made the case more difficult to solve.

"We only have a certain amount of time where we can get physical evidence of a crime occuring," Stroer said. "Definitely within 4 years the time has expired on that. "

According to the report, police did not interview Menu Corey's roommates who could have been possible witnesses. KOMU 8 News asked Stroer why they were not interviewed, and she said she did not know and would get back to us after talking to the head of the investigation.

The incident likely occurred in February 2010 and was not reported to Columbia police until Jan. 27, 2014, a day after ESPN aired "Outside the Lines - College Athletes and Mental Health: Sasha's Story." Menu Courey committed suicide in June 2011. The case was assigned to a Columbia police detective after being contacted by the University of Missouri Police Department.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional documents from police.)

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