Erica Blasberg's Dad Wants Answers

Erica Blasberg was found dead on May 9 at her home just outside Las Vegas.

The up-and-coming LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) golfer was 25.

Since then, the investigation surrounding her death has proven difficult.

Her father, Mel Blasberg, would like some closure, and to celebrate the life Erica had.

Wednesday is her birthday.

What Happened to Erica Blasberg?
Erica Blasberg's Death Shrouded in Mystery
Photos: Erica Blasberg

Blasberg sat down with "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith and, in an emotional interview, admitted it was hard to be in front of cameras and viewers talking about his daughter's death, especially on her birthday.

"It's just one of these things that a parent, father, one who has spent so much time with their daughter, knows how to handle, but what's important for me is that all the people who knew Erica and liked and loved Erica, have some sense of what's going on. I just believe sometimes we can't control our children, but we should always be there to protect them," said Blasberg.

Little is known about the circumstances that led to Erica's sudden death, but her bags had been packed for a tournament in Alabama before she died. Police haven't ruled out foul play, but also haven't ruled out suicide.

The investigation, says Smith, was quickly directed at a Dr. Thomas Hess, who had spoken to the golfer the night before her death, visited her home the next day, and was the one to dial 9-1-1.

Among many unanswered questions in Erica's case, one in particular Blasberg points to is why it's taken so long to establish a cause of death.

He's requested that a forensic psychologist be brought in, and doesn't want investigators to rule Erica's death a suicide without taking into account her state of mind, any drugs that were in her system and, most importantly, her relationship with Hess.

Blasberg described it as "outside of a professional doctor-patient relationship," but to what extent, he says, no one can be sure.

Erica's career was very promising at the start. She shot to the top of her game and got a lucrative endorsement deal from PUMA. But her success quickly faded. The golfer's ranking dropped drastically in the LPGA rankings, and Erica had gone from making $113,000 in 2008 to barely making $26,000 in 2009.

If Erica had personal demons she was dealing with, Blasberg says, he's partly responsible for not seeing the signs of possible trouble. With the pressures of being a professional athlete, and the personal pressure do her best, Erica had mentioned to her father that she wasn't completely happy, he says.

"There were times that I'm sure she didn't want to be a professional golfer," said Blasberg. "She was disappointed. She said things to me, you know, from time-to-time, that raised little flags. She had mentioned on occasion that she didn't think she had any friends, which is not the case at all. And things like that."

Blasberg says his daughter's death leaves him feeling unsettled. "What didn't I see?," he asks. "I never took her for granted."

When it comes to any involvement of Hessin Erica's death, there are lots of hoops to jump over before getting any answers, Blasberg says.

"Obviously, Erica had some attraction to this man," he said. "He (Hess) mentioned some things to the police that clearly indicated he had a concern for her state of mind. And she was alive when he left. Even if he has concern, legal concerns, and apparently he's in some legal cave where he doesn't want to be touched by anybody."

Though Blasberg says he's not implying homicide whatsoever, he says he just wants answers about his daughter's untimely death.

The pain of Erica's family is indescribable, he says, as they mourn for her, and celebrate her accomplishments on her birthday.

While many have sent their condolences, Hess hasn't, Blasber points out.

"Because he still knew my daughter, he should say, 'I'm sorry.' He didn't, hasn't, nothing," said Blasberg. "I want the world to know that maybe this guy is a great doctor but there's a side of him that is a scoundrel."
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