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Police: No evidence 'Bachelorette's West Lee involved in wife's death


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/25/2011 

While West Lee's former mother-in-law recently suggested he was involved in her daughter's death, police say there is no evidence The Bachelorette bachelor was responsible for the death of his wife.

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"There was no physical evidence on scene that suggested Sarah Young's death was a homicide by Bachelorette contestant Adam West Lee," Lt. Matt Davis from the Lexington, SC Police Department told People in a Tuesday report.

New coverage of Young's September 2007 death surfaced a couple of weeks ago when Dianna Sapp, Lee's former mother-in-law, told Star magazine she believed Lee contributed to her daughter's death, according to RadarOnline.

"I believe that West was my daughter's enabler, and I just feel he had something to do with Sarah's death," Sapp told Star, adding that she felt The Bachelorette star Ashley Hebert should be aware of Lee's past.

"I would tell Ashley to think long and hard before getting into a relationship with him."

Young's father also told Star he believes Lee, a 30-year-old attorney from South Carolina, was a bad influence on his daughter and responsible for her struggles with drugs and alcohol.

"She was in a rehab facility right before she died, but West took her out. The life they shared was a mess. Partying and drinking were not things Sarah was doing -- until she started dating West," he said. 

However, Lt. Davis told People that Sapp has previously expressed her feelings about her daughter's death to authorities and they determined her accusations were not warranted.   

"Her mom voiced concern about the cause of death, but we looked into the case a second time," Lt. Davis said.

According to a police report obtained by Star, Lee's wife accidentally drowned in the bathtub of their home while Lee was also present.  However, Lee admitted drugs were involved, as both he and Young and were under the influence of marijuana at the time of the incident.

Lee also told police that Young had attempted suicide twice in the past, was "very depressed" around the time of her death, and had a history of mental health issues, People reported.

"We had the coroner's report," Lt. Davis added. "She had alcohol and marijuana in her system at the time of her death, but we're not sure if she purposely killed herself."

The police report stated Lee told officers his wife drowned in the bathtub after the couple got into an argument while discussing three separate car accidents Young had been involved in during the five days prior to her death. According to Lee, he and Young had been smoking marijuana prior to the last car accident, which occurred only a few hours before her death.

Following their fight, Young told her husband she "just had an epiphany," kissed Lee on the neck, and then walked into the bathroom to take a bath.

After not hearing any sounds coming from the bathroom, Lee allegedly called out to his wife and asked if everything was alright and she replied, "It's okay, I was under the water."

Lee told police he then checked on her again about an hour later but did not get a response -- causing him to break into the bathroom using scissors to pick the lock and find Young submerged in the bathtub. He pulled her out of the water and immediately called 911.

Lt. Davis also told People the fact that Lee's current appearance on The Bachelorette has resulted in new coverage of Young's death will not have any effect on the closed case.

"Friends, family and acquaintances [of Young] were interviewed. A longer than usual investigation was conducted in regards to pursuing who she was. This case is no longer active and not expected to open again just because it is back in the news," Lt. Davis explained.

Lee referenced his former wife's death during the premiere broadcast of The Bachelorette's seventh season on Monday night. 

"I've had a great love in my life. I was married to a wonderful woman named Sarah, who I was madly in love with. I asked her to marry me and thank God, she said yes. We were together for about seven years," West said during his introduction clip which aired at the beginning of the episode.

"She was the true love of my life. She had this history of seizures. One day, she went and got into the bathtub. I checked on her, and I found her face down in the tub. I pulled her out, and I called 911. It hurt more than anything I've ever felt in my life to lose her."

According to ABC, Lee will share his story with Hebert during next Monday's broadcast of The Bachelorette's second seventh-season episode.

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