Mother of Chicopee murder victim speaks out - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Mother of Chicopee murder victim speaks out after leak of crime scene photos

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The mother of Chicopee murder victim Amanda Plasse is outraged after learning five police officers took photos of her daughter's body at the crime scene and shared them with people outside the department.

"I am sickened, just beyond sickened over this," said Michelle Mathieson, Plasse's mom.

Mathieson has to live with her 20-year-old daughter's death every single day.

But days like this one make it even harder.

"None of us were aware that this was going to transpire today."

She and her family found out via the internet that Plasse's body had been photographed at the crime scene back in August 2011 by five officers on their personal cell phones.

Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette revealed at a press conference Monday that those photos had even been shared.

"It's the kind of thing that shocks the conscience," he said.

Now the department is under intense review from a former federal prosecutor.

The five officers received the lowest form of backlash possible - a letter of reprimand in each of their files.

"I can't imagine, I can't imagine No. 1 why with your personal cell phone you would be taking pictures of a murdered child. No. 2, sharing them," Mathieson said.

The news of those photos overshadowed what was meant to be a celebratory press conference, announcing long-time acting police Chief Thomas Charette as the official chief.

He says his hope is that word of the photos and of the review don't tarnish the department.

"Embarrassed for the department," Charette said at Monday's press conference.

Mathieson wishes she had been told earlier so she could have privately dealt with the emotions of it all.

But the one fact that overshadows this mother's fury is that her daughter's killer is still free.

"As wrong as all this is, it all comes down to there's a murderer walking around out there, where is Amanda's justice?"

Mathieson praised the work of the district attorney and state police on the investigation.

She also says she is exploring her legal options right now as to how to handle this.

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