Police Accidentally Destroy Woman’s Final Note to Parents

June 10, 2016 6:21 pm Last Updated: June 10, 2016 6:21 pm

“Dear Mom and Dad, I love you guys so much.”

Those are some of the last words that a Chicago woman wrote before she killed herself with a fatal insulin dose.

Terry Porter’s daughter Nicole, 29, committed suicide in February 2015, leaving behind two notes—one written to her parents, CBS Chicago reported. “She was struggling a little bit with depression,” Terry Porter told CBS Chicago. “She was seeing a therapist.”

Police used the two letters as evidence, ruling her death a suicide in May 2015. The case wasn’t officially closed until April 2016.

A detective told Porter that she could retrieve the letter, but when she came and picked it up several weeks later, they learned that it was destroyed due to an administrative error.

“It was like everything was ripped right open again,” Porter told CBS Chicago. “It was the last ‘I love you’ she ever said to us.”

Porter is now asking the Chicago Police Department to review their policies on evidene.

Having her letters “would be part of her and I can hold onto. It would mean the world to me right now,” Porter said. “It was the last ‘I love you’ she ever said to us. It’s the last physical thing she ever left for us. They’re a part of her that she gave to us in the last hours of her life.”

Porter said she has copies of the letters, but she said it’s devastating not to have the originals.

Meanwhile, last week, Chicago Police released evidence from more than 100 investigations (not related to Nicole Porter’s suicide) into police shootings and use of force. The data dump comes about six months after cops shot and killed teen Laquan McDonald 16 times, sparking backlash against the force.

The U.S. Justice Department started an investigation into the Chicago Police Department—and the mayor’s task force issued a damning report that said racism among officers contributed to a series failures that had lost Chicagoans’ trust.

“This is a significant step towards transparency in Chicago,” Craig B. Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor, told the New York Times. “We’ve had decades of the code of silence and a lack of police accountability and institutional denial. The real test is, what does the new normal look like going forward?”