Susanne Mullis, 36, had felt abandoned by force after incident
By Charmaine Smith-Miles (Contact)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
ANDERSON — A former Anderson police officer whose final
few years were marred by tragedy will be remembered in Anderson on
Saturday after she was found dead on Dec. 14.
Susanne Gail Simonson-Mullis, 36, will be remembered at a 1 p.m.
funeral service led by Rev. Lloyd Robison, the chaplain of the
Anderson City Police Department. It will be a tribute to a woman
whose passion was law enforcement — a job that that she could
no longer do because of post traumatic stress disorder.
Ms. Mullis suffered from the disorder after she and fellow
officer Dusty Ashley responded to a call about an attempted
break-in at Grady’s Great Outdoors on Clemson Boulevard on
April 7, 2004. They were involved in a standoff at the store that
night. When it ended, a 16-year-old boy, who was armed, was dead.
Later, they were both were “administratively separated”
from their jobs, officials said in earlier reports.
Both officers were featured in the Anderson Independent-Mail in
March, detailing their troubles with depression and how they felt
abandoned by the department.
While Ms. Mullis’ family will be given some closure on
Saturday, her death still remains a mystery. In fact, the
depression she suffered from after that 2004 shooting could have
been a trigger to her death. Authorities are unsure.
Ms. Mullis’ body was found in her Donaldson Road home in
Greenville on Dec. 14, after her mother, Melinda Cuddy, went by to
check on her, Greenville County Deputy Coroner Scott Ramsey said.
Mr. Ramsey said he believes Ms. Mullis died the evening before she
was found. No foul play is suspected, Mr. Ramsey said.
He said Ms. Mullis was lying in bed, with her hand in a popcorn
bowl as if she simply fell asleep while watching television.
Because of how she was found, her medical history and her mental
health history, he said he is not sure how Ms. Mullis died.
Recently, Ms. Mullis had been involved in a motorcycle crash
that left her back severely injured. She was taking pain
medication. And Mr. Ramsey said he is waiting on autopsy results,
medical records and toxicology results to determine if Ms. Mullis
died from an accidental overdose, an intentional one or if her
health failed her.
“Nothing seemed out of place. So this may take a while to
really put all of this together,” Mr. Ramsey said.
“This is one of those cases that should be open and shut. But
every variable that is possible has been thrown at us.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Cuddy said she will always regret that she
didn’t check on her daughter earlier. Ms. Cuddy said she had
called her daughter on Tuesday. Over the next couple of days, Ms.
Cuddy said she tried to call her daughter again, but did not hear
“I didn’t worry about it at first, though. I thought
she wasn’t picking up because she didn’t have any more
minutes left on her cellphone,” Ms. Cuddy said. But by
Friday, she became worried. “I wish I’d gone over there
Ms. Mullis was born in Hollywood, Fla., and was an only child.
She served as a police officer with Anderson and with the Pickens
City Police Department. She was a member of the Fraternal Order of
Surviving her is her husband, Tim Mullis, her daughter, Sara
Christine Simonson, her son, Caleb Mullis, her mother and her
brother, Mike Sosebee. Ms. Mullis’s memorial service will be
held in the chapel of the McDougald Funeral Home on North Main
Street in Anderson. The family will receive friends following the
Anderson, South Carolina