Absence of Additional Records Relating to 2014 Cobain Case Review, According to SPD Legal Unit

According to the Seattle Police Department Legal Unit in a recent response to a records request appeal, other than the 2014 follow-up report, “No other records related to the [Kurt Cobain] follow-up investigation have been located.”

The records request was submitted by the author in late May and sought all records pertaining to interviews conducted by SPD Detective Michael Ciesynski as part of his 2014 review.

The 2014 follow-up report indicates that as part of the review Ciesynski interviewed Dr. Richard Harruff, the King County Chief Medical Examiner, and consulted with Detective Jim Yoshida – an original detective from the 1994 investigation – and SPD Range Armorer Curt Wilson. A local (Seattle/King County) KIRO 7 news report on the review further indicated that Ciesynski “re-interviewed family, friends and others involved in the case.”

The SPD Public Disclosure Unit, which provides a first response to records request submissions, responded to the records request by indicating that it had conducted a thorough search of the case file and that the author’s request was non-responsive because no records pertaining to the interviews were located in the case file.

The author submitted an appeal to the SPD Legal Unit challenging the reasonableness of the scope of the Disclosure Unit’s search and the determination that the records request was non-responsive. The Legal Unit indicated that it had conducted a comprehensive review of records and that the Disclosure Unit’s determination would be upheld.

It is not clear what accounts for the inability to locate any additional records relating to the 2014 review.

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