More MS news articles for January 2000

Reding Believed Hiding in Europe

Wednesday, January 26, 2000

The Associated Press

RIO RANCHO -- A prosecutor says a fugitive psychiatrist from Michigan, accused of murdering a woman in Rio Rancho by assisted suicide, has been in Europe, but that authorities don't know for sure where he is.

Dr. Georges Reding, a Belgium native, is charged with first-degree murder in the August 1998 death of Donna Brennan, a 54-year-old multiple sclerosis patient from Rio Rancho who died of an overdose of the sedative pentobarbital.

"If you asked me at this moment where Dr. Reding is, I don't know," District Attorney Mike Runnels said today. "I know he has been in Europe; I know from what I've been told that he's even been back to this country at some time. But where he is, I don't know."

Runnels said his office is working with the U.S. State Department and the Department of Justice to make sure Reding is found and that when he is located, "steps are taken to make sure he is extradited."

Reding, a 74-year-old associate of assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, has been missing since he failed to appear for his scheduled murder arraignment in New Mexico last September.

Police at first thought Brennan died of natural causes. But her family urged them to investigate, and the drug turned up in an autopsy.

Telephone and credit card records and a witness placed Reding at Brennan's house around the time of her death, authorities have said.

Runnels said investigators believe Reding had been in Europe for several months. Reding and his wife have a house in Galesburg, Mich., but Kalamazoo County Sheriff's officials who have been watching his home there said he is not there.

Brennan's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Reding, and last month a judge ruled Reding had defaulted on the lawsuit. The amount of damages to be awarded has not been set.