By Scot J. Paltrow
(Reuters) - A key witness in a Nevada criminal foreclosure fraud case who was found dead on Monday apparently committed suicide, individuals close to the investigation of her death said.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that police had found the body of Tracy Lawrence, a notary, in her Las Vegas apartment shortly after she failed to appear in court for sentencing on a misdemeanor count related to the case.
On Wednesday people with direct knowledge of what the police found in her apartment said that empty or partially empty bottles of prescription and over-the-counter medicines were located near her body, strongly suggesting that she had committed suicide. No suicide note was found.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has said that there was no sign of foul play and that Lawrence's death was not being investigated as a homicide.
The police said that the cause of death wouldn't be determined definitively for six to eight weeks, when results are due back from toxicology tests by the Clark County, Nevada, coroner.
On November 16, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Masto announced a 606-count indictment against two California-based employees of Lender Processing Services, the nation's largest mortgage servicing company. The indictment accuses them of causing thousands of fraudulent foreclosure documents to be filed in Nevada.
Lawrence, who had served as a notary in Nevada for the LPS employees, agreed to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor count of falsely notarizing a signature and to cooperate with prosecutors in the LPS case, the attorney general's office has confirmed.
(Reporting by Scot J. Paltrow in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)