Police files on Naomi Judd's death released

Editor's note: This story discusses self-harm. If you or a loved one are at risk, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for support at 988 or 1-800-273-8255.

Law enforcement files on the investigation into Naomi Judd's death in Franklin earlier this year were released Wednesday.

Judd died by suicide April 30 at age 76. The beloved country vocalist's death rocked country music fans and artists, coming just ahead of the Judds' induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame set for later that week.

The files detail the investigation into Judd's death, which was quickly ruled suicide. No arrests were made — nor are any expected — in the case.

Williamson County sheriff's deputies interviewed family members and close friends, as well as medical professionals connected with Judd's care, in the wake of her death. They also collected and reviewed firearm and other evidence from the scene.

FILE - Naomi Judd poses at the Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., Oct. 6, 2012. Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died, her family announced Saturday, April 30, 2022. She was 76. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - Naomi Judd poses at the Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., Oct. 6, 2012. Judd, the Kentucky-born matriarch of the Grammy-winning duo The Judds and mother of Wynonna and Ashley Judd, has died, her family announced Saturday, April 30, 2022. She was 76. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Detectives took out a search warrant later that day to locate a sticky note that contained a handwritten message, identified as a possible suicide note penned by Judd.

Nothing in the investigative file disputes statements made by family and law enforcement since Judd's death.

Family members, including Judd's husband, Larry Strickland, and her daughters Ashley Judd and Wynonna Judd, sued to keep the file private. The Williamson County case was dismissed this week.

Tennessee public records law typically allows local law enforcement records to be released, but police have the discretion to hold records while an investigation is ongoing. When an investigation is closed, that exemption does not apply. Records from closed investigations are regularly released to the media and others.

'Iconic in every sense of the word': Country music world reacts to Naomi Judd's death

Mental health resources:Naomi Judd championed mental health. Here's how you can find help and be an advocate.

A proposed new bill would limit access to death records, investigative reports and 911 calls in Tennessee if law enforcement determines the death was not the result of a crime.

The bill raises concerns for open-records advocates who argue it would limit oversight and transparency without meaningfully protecting privacy.

Ashley Judd previously said her mother was lost to “the disease of mental illness.” Judd had been public about her diagnoses of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder, for which she was receiving treatment from a team of medical professionals.

Through the investigation, it became clear a number of personal firearms were regularly kept unsecured, just out of sight, in the house Naomi Judd shared with her husband.

"The day we lost our matriarch and wife was our most excruciating day and we appreciate the continued privacy to mourn. We hope that same privacy can be granted to all families going through the trauma of mental illness and suicide as privacy and dignity afford space for healing," Judd's daughters and Strickland told The Tennessean in a statement Wednesday evening.

Groups including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention have created nationally recognized best practices for reporting on suicide.

The Tennessean is choosing to follow those guidelines and refrain from reporting further details of Judd's death included in the public records.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Police files on Naomi Judd's death released