Update: Melissa Rodriguez Homicide Prompts Change In OPD Procedures

Statement from Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer:

"I have completed my review of the Lasting Hope matter involving homicide suspect, Mikael Loyd.  The review focused on the Omaha Police Department’s actions and our Standard Operating Procedure in regards to Mental Health Placements. 

In regards to the decisions made by individual Omaha Police Officers – I have determined the discretionary decisions made were within reason and focused on getting Mikael Loyd appropriate mental health care and did not violate our Standard Operating Procedure.  Since Mr. Loyd had a misdemeanor warrant when he was placed into Emergency Protective Custody, there was a reasonable belief, based on past practices; OPD would be notified when he was discharged.   

In regards to our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) - I have determined that our policy did not adequately cover the release of individuals with warrants who were placed into protective custody. Our SOP for Mental Health Placements has been updated and reviewed by City Legal to reflect the procedure for the release of individuals with warrants. "

 

The murder of an Omaha teen prompted Omaha Police to investigate their own procedures after the accused killer was in custody, taken to rehab and released without notification of police before the murder.

The chain of events started when Loyd contacted police to talk about his dad's murder in 1995 in early August. Homicide detectives deemed him mentally unstable and potentially dangerous. He was committed to get some help at Lasting Hope in Omaha.

On Monday, August 12th, Loyd called 911 from Lasting Hope wanting to turn himself in for a misdemeanor warrant. Officers responded, but according to police, Lasting Hope staff gave them the impression that he was in emergency custody and could not leave. According to the police investigation, officers asked staff to notify them when Loyd was to be released.

Two days later, Loyd was released and Omaha police say there is no record that they were notified by the care facility. Mikael Loyd did reportedly place a call to a homicide detective, simply saying "I'm out," and hanging up. That call is still under internal investigation by police.

The next day, Melissa Rodriguez, 19, was found murdered at Graceland Cemetery. Her body was thrown in a grave that was to be the burial site of another recent homicide victim. She had been strangled.

After the murder, Loyd left a message for homicide detectives saying he wanted to talk about his father's murder in 1995.

Loyd and Rodriguez had a past relationship that had been abusive.

Loyd is currently in jail with no bond. He plead not guilty in September and is awaiting trial.


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