Las Vegas, Nevada (May 4, 2014)–One of the saddest days in the history of the Las Vegas golf community will be relived this week when the civil trial over the death of former Las Vegas resident and LPGA Tour star Erica Blasberg begins here in Las Vegas. Blasberg was originally from Southern California but moved to Las Vegas a few years prior to her death, which was ruled a suicide. Blasberg was active in the community. She attended various charity events and played and practiced at Southern Highlands Golf Club. Blasberg died on May 9, 2010, and the circumstances surrounding the suicide and a relationship with a married doctor and member of Southern Highlands raised a lot of questions. The civil trial may answer many of them. –By Brian Hurlburt.
According to Blasberg family attorney, Nick Crosby, Blasberg’s parents hope to find Dr. Thomas Hess "responsible for Erica’s death.” Investigations by Crosby and others have revealed that Hess and Blasberg were involved "in an inappropriate relationship."
According to the Press-Enterprise, "the case of Blasberg vs. Hess is expected to take five to seven days to present". Crosby is representing Mel and Debra Blasberg.
Two days prior to her death, Blasberg and Hess played golf at Southern Highlands then went to a casino to watch a hockey game. Surveillance video from the casino reportedly shows the two holding hands and then embracing when they leave. One of the final calls Blasberg made on the day she died was to Hess. When Hess unsuccessfully tried to contact her several times he went to her home and found her body. He then reportedly tampered with the scene prior to alerting authorities.
“All these questions are raised for me,” Crosby said in his interview with the Press-Enterprise “Why do you call her multiple times … if there isn’t something wrong? … Why go over there if nothing’s wrong? And why hide the suicide note and the pills if you didn’t do anything wrong the night before? Those are the questions I want the jury to find out.”
Many in the golf world mourned Blasberg's passing including former Southern Highlands Head Professional Jay Beckman. "Erica was a very important part of the Southern Highlands family," said Beckman, a close friend, at the time of her death. "Not only was she a great person, but she was a great golfer, and she will be deeply missed."
Fellow LPGA Tour player Stephanie Louden, who grew up in Las Vegas but now lives in Texas, knew Blasberg and competed against her in a U.S. Women's Amateur when Blasberg was only 15. "I remember that she was a great player and she was very young," said Louden in 2010. "She was a gutsy player and it was a very difficult match, but I ended up beating her on the final hole. You have to appreciate everything because you never know."