Phx. airport victim may have been given alcohol

Gotbaum died in an airport holding cell in Phoenix.
Gotbaum died in an airport holding cell in Phoenix.

PHOENIX (CBS/AP) -- There are graphic new details of Carol Gotbaum's last hours at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, revealed in the newly-released, 250-page police report.

The documents show conflicting reports about whether Gotbaum was drinking before she was arrested.

Gotbaum, who was trying to get to a substance abuse clinic in Tucson to treat her alcoholism, had missed her flight by one minute, and was told she couldn't board.

The report reveals in more detail what apparently caused her to begin yelling: another passenger offered her his ticket, but Gotbaum was told the ticket couldn't be transferred, that it was a security breach.

She repeatedly yelled, "I am not a terrorist. I am a United States citizen. I want to go to Tucson.' She called herself a "depressed housewife."

Officers say Gotbaum smelled of alcohol, and in the report a U.S. Airways flight attendant tells police Gotbaum was served a Bloody Mary on the flight from New York to Phoenix.

However, a passenger told authorities she didn't see Gotbaum drink alcohol.

Gotbaum was taking medications to battle depression, according to police interviews with an investigator hired by her family.

According to CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor, the full report of the incidents leading to Gotbaum's death on Sept 28 says that when an officer checked on the 45-year-old mother of three, after she'd been arrested and left alone in an airport holding cell, he thought she was sleeping or taking a nap. Her face was resting on her hands.

When he realized that wasn't the case, first responders began mouth-to-mouth. At one moment a pulse was detected, but it faded, and Gotbaum died.

When Noah Gotbaum was finally informed of his wife's death, he said, "They killed her. They killed her." The family has accused police of manhandling her.

Police have said repeatedly they followed procedure, and that they were not aware of Gotbaum's fragile emotional state.

Sgt. Andy Hill, a police spokesman, said the homicide unit finished its probe and that it appears officers acted appropriately.

Husband Noah Gotbaum in a phone call to Phoenix police about his wife's mental state"All of the witness accounts say that the police did what they had to do," Hill said.

However, an internal investigation into the officers' conduct isn't complete yet.

Michael Manning, an attorney who represents Gotbaum's family, downplayed the drink Gotbaum may have had on the flight, noting that witnesses disagree about it.

The family, which has accused police of manhandling Gotbaum, has hired its own team of experts to investigate the case.

At Carol Gotbaum's funeral, Noah Gotbaum's grief was compounded by that lack of awareness.

"If only one person had reached out to her, put an arm around her, this would never have happened," he said.

An autopsy report has not been released yet, pending laboratory results.

Posted by LS

CBS and Asociated Press contributed to this report.