SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It took six years but Chad Platt’s family feels they got justice for him.
In May 2016, Platt’s life was shaken to the core by a knock on the door.
Platt was a prosecutor with the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office.
At his door was a SWAT team representing the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
The SWAT team had a search warrant for his home. He was suspected of downloading child pornography.
The search warrant didn’t reveal what they found, but it gave them the green light to search Platt’s residence.
“The information came back to that residence where we executed the warrant, that contained graphic child pornography,” said Leo Lucy in an interview with ABC4.
Lucy was the lead investigator for the attorney general.
“We know that there were children at risk,” Lucy said.
The task force rummaged through his bedroom, garage, a shed and his vehicle. Among the items they seized were desktop computers, laptops and other discs.
Platt wasn’t arrested but didn’t go to work that Friday. On Monday morning, he was dead. He parked his vehicle in the parking garage at work. He then went to the rooftop and jumped three stories to his death.
He left a suicide note for his brother.
“He said in his suicide letter how devastating that was,” said Shawn Platt months after his death. “And even if he could have and would have proven his innocence, he would always have that mark on him. It was humiliating for him.”
At the time, his boss, Sim Gill, Salt Lake’s District Attorney, was saddened to hear about Platt’s suicide.
“It was an absolute terrible, terrible day for us,” said Gill.
His family said the SWAT team never found any evidence of child pornography and claimed authorities relied on an unreliable confidential informant.
But investigators later learned of Platt’s iPad that was issued by the District Attorney. It wasn’t found during the search and was missing. They tracked it down from a family member who had it. But investigators, the FBI and other forensics specialists could never crack the code to unlock the iPad. Finally in 2018, the investigation ended.
“Once we found we couldn’t access that final piece of evidence we screened it with prosecutors to get it closed,” said Lucy.
The state records division upheld the ruling. The family’s attorney appealed the ruling to the District Court.
“They fought us for a reason,” said Platt. “And that’s because they were covering up a blunder, a tremendous blunder that cost Chad his life.
On Friday, the story of Chad Platt’s final stand will continue. The judge issued a ruling about the records and sided with the attorney general. But it’s what he said in his ruling that left the Platt family satisfied.