AG’s office investigating Addis woman’s death

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office confirmed Wednesday that it has launched its own investigation into the death of a 59-year-old Addis woman who died suspiciously a year ago from multiple traumatic injuries.

The state was asked to look over the case files surrounding Sandra Rinaudo’s death at the request of Addis Police Chief Ricky Anderson, whose department’s handling of the case has been questioned by Rinaudo’s family.

Rinaudo’s daughter, Ragean Bellelo, has publicly criticized the Addis Police Department for closing her mother’s case even though an autopsy report had ruled it a homicide. No arrests had been made since her mother was found dead in her home on Aug. 9.

Rinaudo suffered multiple blunt-force injuries that fractured some of her ribs, split her pancreas in half and broke her nose, according to the autopsy report.

She was discovered unresponsive by her husband, Eddie Rinaudo, who called 911 from their home, in the 4000 block of Foret Street in Addis.

A grand jury heard testimony and considered evidence in the case but indicted no one, which prosecutors say was due to a lack of sufficient evidence developed by investigators.

Assistant District Attorney Tony Clayton has said previously he agreed with the grand jury’s decision, and that the Addis Police Department could be partly to blame because it lacks the proper training to investigate homicides.

Laura Gerdes Colligan, a spokeswoman with the Attorney General’s Office, said Wednesday her office is honoring Anderson’s written request for assistance but would not comment further about the investigation since it is “an ongoing matter.”

In his June 4 request, Anderson wrote that the AG’s Office had previously reviewed evidence regarding Rinaudo’s death and provided “valuable insight to the investigation.”

Clayton presented the case to the grand jury last year with Rinaudo’s husband considered a “person of interest,” along with opposing theories that the woman’s death could have been an accident because her blood-alcohol level was approximately 0.371 percent — which is four times over the state’s 0.08 percent legal limit to drive.

Follow Terry Jones on Twitter @tjonesreporter.