Officer Brendan O'Brien, who committed suicide in September 2015 at the age of 30, has been cleared in the death of his wife a year earlier, who also committed suicide but whose death was briefly considered suspicious. According to ABC 7, an independent investigation has concluded that sought to confirm O'Brien's death was a suicide, and that his wife's had been as well.
The East Bay Express explains more thoroughly that the investigation was done by the Alameda County District Attorney's office, and it concluded that "both deaths were investigated professionally and thoroughly, ultimately reaching the reasonable and appropriate determination to classify each death a suicide."
As we learned earlier, O'Brien took his own life claiming that he was being blackmailed by then underage sex worker Celeste Guap, who says she was in some kind of romantic relationship with O'Brien for a number of months. Guap said she first met O'Brien when he was patrolling an Oakland neighborhood where she was trying to escape from a pimp. Guap claims that she was out of town in Puerto Rico celebrating her 18th birthday last September when she reached out to O'Brien, seeking some kind of long-distance help. Angry when he ignored her, she admits she lashed out and sent him a screenshot of a text she sent to his commanding officer, telling him O'Brien had sex with her while she was underage. O'Brien subsequently took his own life and left a note saying Guap was blackmailing him, though she denies ever seeking any money from him. Five days after his death, Guap was questioned by police.
O'Brien's wife, Irma Huerta Lopez, died over a year earlier, on a night when O'Brien said the two had been fighting. O'Brien said he went out to buy cigarettes at 9:45 p.m. on the night of June 16, 2014, and had a receipt from a nearby store to prove it, and when he returned he found Lopez dead from a gunshot wound from his off-duty handgun. She was lying on her back on the bed, and the investigation found that while both she and O'Brien had gunshot residue on their hands, more of her DNA was on the weapon than O'Brien's, despite the fact that it was his weapon. Her family believed, and some continue to believe that O'Brien was responsible and that it was a homicide, according to CNN. O'Brien is said to have had a history of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and photos from social media show him in military fatigues in a desert setting.
Guap claims to have had her first contact with O'Brien in February 2015.
It later came to light that Guap may have had sex with at least three other Oakland officers before she turned 18, and she admits to having sexual contact with over 30 officers from seven different law enforcement agencies in the same 12 to 14-month span before this scandal broke in May.
As she told ABC 7 news in her only TV interview, her mother's relationship with a cop who was killed in the line of duty in 2009, when Guap was 12, triggered her to fall into the world of prostitution and drugs in her Richmond neighborhood. It seems she sought the attention of cops thereafter, and she says she first had sex with a cop at 16, another friend of her mother's, who is a dispatcher with the OPD.
The scandal involving Guap came to light after a federal compliance director assigned to monitor the department as part of a decade-old federal oversight order pertaining to an older scandal discovered "irregularities" during his investigation of O'Brien's wife's suicide. While it remained classified a suicide, compliance director Robert Warshaw found out that an internal investigation involving Guap's connections to O'Brien and other Oakland officers had been going on for months, and he was required to be informed of any such investigation. Other officers have been implicated in sharing confidential information with Guap about police activity and prostitution stings, and all of this combined led directly to the resignation of Chief Sean Whent in early June.
Previously: Dozens Of SFPD Officers Were Connected To East Bay Sex Worker Celeste Guap On Facebook
Sex Worker At Center Of Oakland Police Scandal Reveals How And Why She Went Public; Three SFPD Officers Involved Too