LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A knife allegedly found buried on the Brentwood property once owned by O.J. Simpson will undergo a series of tests for DNA evidence, police said Friday.
A construction worker reportedly found a folding buck knife buried on the perimeter of the former Simpson estate and gave it to a Los Angeles police officer who had retired from the force in the mid-90s. Detectives believe the weapon was possibly recovered during the demolition of the property.
The retired officer was in uniform while working across the street as security detail for a movie set, according to LAPD Capt. Andy Neiman.
“Apparently he was approached by an individual who claimed to have found a knife from the Rockingham property. That retired motor officer hung onto the knife,” Neiman told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO.
Neiman says the officer kept the knife at home for years.
Prosecutor Marcia Clark and Simpson houseguest Kato Kaelin addresses claims of new evidence Friday.
Detectives are working to determine if the officer, whose identity is being withheld at this time, was retired when he received the weapon.
“According to him, he thought the case was closed, since the case was no longer being prosecuted,” Neiman said. “(He) did not realize the legalities that a case like this remains open until there is a conviction.”
Last month, the officer told a friend in LAPD’s robbery homicide division about the knife. Supervisors then retrieved the weapon. The traffic officer had been apparently looking to have the knife engraved with the Nicole Brown Simpson case number and framed, according to reports.
“Since then, it’s been in custody and we’re treating it as evidence,” Neiman said. “We are having it tested to see if there is any evidentiary value. This could be just a knife that is totally unrelated to this case. This could be an instance where someone made up a story about the knife.”
According to Neiman, the weapon has been submitted to a lab where it will undergo testing for DNA and hair samples.
Neiman said the department could consider filing criminal charges against retired officer, but because he is retired, there will be no administrative investigation at this point.
“Unless you’re a homicide investigator or other investigator, a lot of people don’t realize that those cases remain in the open status,” he said. “I’m not defending what he did, certainly we all would’ve wished he brought [the knife] forward much sooner.”
At this time, the Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman murder cases remain under investigation. O.J. Simpson can not be charged in connection with the homicides due to the fact that he has already been acquitted. In the meantime, neighbors near where Simpson’s house once stood recalled the media spectacle at the time.
Police have asked for the construction worker who handed over the knife to the officer to come forward for questioning.