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Homicide case open, getting attention after WBRZ suit

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PORT ALLEN - The death of a woman in Addis now has the attention of the state Attorney General's Office a month after the WBRZ Investigative Unit dug into the questionable homicide investigation.

Pathologists and the West Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office ruled Sandra Rinaudo's death on Aug. 9, 2013 as a homicide. However, News 2 investigators were told by Addis Police Chief Ricky Anderson several months later that the case had been closed with no arrests.

After Addis Police refused to turn over records from the case, WBRZ filed suit for them. In court Thursday a judge ruled that the case was still open, and denied WBRZ's request for documents.

It's a win for Rinaudo's family, because the Attorney General's Office is now looking into the case.

"I'm going to take it over to the Attorney General's Office," Chief Anderson said after the hearing. "We will request them to help us investigate and will be turned over to them to move forward with the investigation."

Ragean Bellelo, Rinaudo's daughter, said she's glad someone will look closer at her mother's death. The investigation by Addis Police lasted a few months and was presented to a grand jury, which did not charge anyone.

"That's exactly what I've been hoping is to have a proper investigation be done into this," Bellelo said.

Rinaudo's husband, Eddie Rinaudo, called 911 the night of the death and told dispatchers his wife wasn't breathing and wouldn't wake up. An autopsy found Sandra Rinaudo had been severely beaten, and died due to "multiple traumatic injuries. Her ribs were fractured, pancreas split in half and she had a broken nose."

The News 2 Investigative Unit later learned that during the grand jury proceedings the pathologist who examined Sandra Rinaudo was never called to testify. Instead, District Attorney Ricky Ward's office had an outside pathologist come in to interpret Dr. Cramer's report.

Thursday in court prosecutors testified they had several persons of interest in the case. Chief Anderson said he'll turn the investigation over to the Attorney General on Friday.

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