A Las Vegas judge and mother of three killed herself a year after leaving office to avoid a messy ethics investigation that began over what she said was her attempt to rescue her daughter from prostitution.
Melanie Andress-Tobiasson, 53, who resigned as justice of the peace ahead of a hearing into her ethics investigation, was found dead by suicide on Friday, 8NewsNow reported. The outlet did not provide details on how she died.
The judge accused the pimps of “targeting the daughters of judges and law enforcement” to recruit them into prostitution.
Andress-Tobiasson was investigated by the Nevada Judicial Disciplinary Commission for nearly two years before agreeing to step down in 2021.
His problems began when his then 16-year-old daughter Sarah started working at a clothing store that Andress-Tobiasson said was a front for criminal activity and tried to arrest her, first by reporting the issue to the police, the Daily Mail reported. She said the store, Top Knotch, was involved in prostitution and was trying to recruit her daughter.
She called Las Vegas cops for ignoring reports of alleged sex trafficking at the store. She claimed the store was an unlicensed underage nightclub and added that she was “terrified” of Shane Valentine, who ran the store at the time.
When The Post reached her daughter, Sarah Tobiasson, now 23, on Saturday, she hung up.
Andress-Tobiasson said she had to turn herself in to the FBI with the information after she was ignored by local police – leading officers to investigate her for allegedly breaking court rules by making an allegation to federal agents .
A complaint filed against Andress-Tobiasson alleged that she failed to observe and uphold the law, and allowed family interests and relationships to influence her conduct, the Daily Mail reported.
Andress-Tobiasson asked cops to look into Valentine, but said they ignored her claims. Valentine was later linked to a shooting where a couple were found dead.
They didn’t officially link him to the murders of 21-year-old Sydney Land and 20-year-old Nehemiah “Neo” Kauffman until months later, according to the Daily Mail.
But Andress-Tobiasson contacted Land’s mother and “began to personally investigate the matter” because she believed Valentine was responsible, according to the complaint.
He added that she used “burner phones” to contact Land’s mother and texted another woman she thought was involved in the murder.
The commission alleged that Andress-Tobiasson publicly stated that she contacted Valentine’s attorney at the time and “told him to tell Valentine that if he called her daughter back, she would take care of it herself- even” and that once she “I went to Shane Valentine’s and kicked down the door.”
Detectives learned of Andress-Tobiasson’s activity, the charges allege, and launched an investigation into the judge, going so far as to follow her phone records.
They also alleged that she had ties to a man called ‘Anthony Danna’ who was a ‘known and documented figure in organized crime’.
Andress-Tobiasson was living with her husband, Todd, in a $2 million mansion with a pool at the time of her death.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free, confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.