Thursday, May 01, 2008
Thanks to Fox News for this article….flagranny2
Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the 52-year-old woman known as the “D.C. Madam,” committed suicide Thursday morning at her mother’s home in a trailer park in the Tampa area, Tarpon Springs Police told FOXNews.com.
“It was her, and she’s deceased,” said Frank Ruggiero, a public information officer with the Tarpon Springs Police Department. “There’s no question that it was a suicide.”
Palfrey apparently hanged herself with a nylon rope that she wrapped around a metal beam in a shed on the property, according to police.
Authorities said her 76-year-old mother, Blanche Palfrey, positively identified the dead woman as her daughter.
Deborah Jeane Palfrey was found guilty on April 15 by a D.C. jury on charges of racketeering and money laundering related to her operating a prostitution ring.
She had threatened to reveal the names of her clients — many believed to be high-profile political and business figures — if prosecutors went forward with their case.
Ruggiero said police arrived at the scene at 10:52 a.m. Thursday and Palfrey was pronounced dead a short while later.
She was reportedly staying at the mobile home of her mother Blanche, who awoke from a nap and searched the premises before noticing that a bicycle had been moved. She went to the shed to investigate and found her daughter hanging from a ceiling beam, according to police.
A man answering the phone at Blanche Palfrey’s residence who identified himself as a family spokesman said she wasn’t able to speak to the media.
“We have no comment at this time,” he told FOXNews.com. He declined to give his name.
A statement released earlier by Tarpon Springs Police said the victim was found in a small storage shed located on the west side of the mobile home.
“Handwritten notes were found on scene that describe the victim’s intention to take her life, and foul play does not appear to be involved,” said Capt. Jeffrey P. Young.
Pinellas County Medical Examiners will determine the official cause of death, and are working with the FBI on the case.
The medical examiner’s office said Thursday that it wasn’t releasing any information on the case.
Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and former deputy secretary of state Randall L. Tobias both were tied by investigators to Palfrey’s high-end prostitution ring.
She had repeatedly denied the escort service engaged in prostitution, saying that if any of the women engaged in sex acts for money, they did so without her knowledge.
Palfrey faced a maximum of 55 years in prison and was free pending her sentencing July 24.
FOXNews.com’s Catherine Donaldson-Evans in New York and Sharon Liss in D.C. contributed to this report.