Suicide or Murder, Police Want to Know

     SPOKANE, Wash. (CN) — Spokane police are seeking medical records in investigating whether a man killed himself because he was HIV-positive, or whether it was murder.
     Christopher Holifield killed himself in 2010 because he was depressed about his HIV test results, his roommate Ashley Hunters told police.
     Police now suspect Hunters may have fabricated the story and killed Holifield by injecting him with a massive dose of insulin, according to a search warrant filed on April 13 in Spokane Superior Court.
     Hunters has not been charged in Holifield’s death.
     The warrant seeks Holifield’s medical records from the Spokane Regional Health District, which maintains results for positive HIV/AIDS tests, as required by law.
     “This information would assist in proving or disproving the HIV status of Holifield, which in turn would assist in the investigation of this incident to make a final determination if Holifield’s death was the result of suicide or murder,” the lengthy “affidavit for search warrant for evidence of homicide” states.
     Police say Hunters, who was being investigated for suspicion of identity theft and arson, changed his story about what happened the night of Holifield’s death.
     During the original investigation, Hunters said he called police after finding Holifield unresponsive in his room. Hunters told police Holifield was upset about his HIV diagnosis and threatened to take pills.
     Hunters showed officers an empty vial of insulin he found that had been full that morning and said that if Holifield injected the whole thing it would have killed him, according to the warrant.
     An autopsy showed that Holifield died from self-administered insulin in amounts higher than a medical scale could measure.
     Police say the death is suspicious for many reasons, including the amount of insulin found in Holifield’s body and a suicide note mailed after Holifield was already dead.
     Police interviewed Holifield’s boyfriend, who said the signature on the note was a forgery.
     According to the warrant, Hunters later admitted sending the note and told detectives he had left three vials of insulin in Holifield’s room so he could commit suicide if wanted.
     Hunters allegedly made the admission while police were questioning him about a string of suspected arsons.
     Hunters changed his story after first claiming that another roommate was letting a Nigerian man stay at the house and that he believed the Nigerian murdered Holifield with an overdose of insulin.
     “During the interview Hunters maintained that Holifield had committed suicide due to having HIV/AIDS. Hunters said that he had accompanied Holifield to a CHAS medical clinic in Spokane for the HIV testing and that Holifield had told him (Hunters) he had tested positive for HIV within days of his suicide,” according to the warrant. (Parentheses in original.)
     Police want to know if Holifield’s medical records can confirm Hunters story.
     Hunters moved to Texas after Holifield’s death but has been extradited to Spokane to face arson charges.

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