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Police officer kills himself after two male relatives accused him of sexual abuse

By Mason White 1:04 PM December 10, 2014
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By: Wayne Morin
A law enforcement officer of California, committed suicide after being accused of abusing relatives.

The body of Dennis Derr, 52, was found in his car in the parking lot of a Walmart in Palmdale. Derr died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

Derr was never formally charged of the crimes as the investigation was still in the early stages. Brian Hudson, a sergeant in the Special Victims Bureau of the Los Angeles County Police, confirmed that two adult males made accusations of sexual abuse against Derr shortly before he committed suicide.

Philip Derr, the son of detective Derr, said that the two adult men claimed that Derr had molested them when they were teenagers.

One of the relatives said that he had been abused repeatedly, while the other remembers one instant of abuse a few years ago, Philip Derr said.

According to Philip, the two relatives recently told the detective’s wife about the alleged abuses. The woman wrote a note to her husband while he was sleeping, saying that she was aware of the allegations, and then left the family home.

The next morning, Derr wrote an email to members of the family, in which he denied the sexual abuse and referred to a plan to kill himself.

Members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff went to the home of Derr, a 17 year veteran with the force, to check on him, but he was not home.

His body was found a few hours later in his car in the parking lot of Walmart.

Derr, a detective since 2006, was assigned to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Van Nuys Division, and for the past few years, he worked with a team of investigators who handle cases of sexual assault, department records show.