A Las Vegas judge and mother of three killed herself a year after leaving her position to avoid a complicated ethics probe that began over what she said was her attempt to save her daughter from prostitution.
Melanie Andress-Tobiasson, 53, who stepped down as a Justice of the Peace before a hearing regarding her ethics investigation, was reportedly found dead by suicide Friday, 8NewsNow reported. The outlet did not provide details about how she died.
The judge charged that pimps were “targeting the daughters of judges and law enforcement” to recruit them into prostitution.
Andress-Tobiasson was being investigated by Nevada’s Judicial Discipline Commission for almost two years before she agreed to resign in 2021.
Her problems began when her daughter Sarah, then 16, started working at a clothing store that Andress-Tobiasson claimed was a front for criminal activities and tried to stop it, first by reporting the issue to the police, the Daily Mail reported. She said the store, Top Knotch, was involved with prostitution and trying to recruit her daughter.
She called out Las Vegas cops for ignoring information about the alleged sex trafficking at the store. She claimed that 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 go to the FBI with the information after being ignored by local police — which resulted in officers investigating her for allegedly breaching judicial rules by making an allegation to federal agents.
A complaint filed against Andress-Tobiasson alleged that she failed to comply with and uphold the law, and allowed family interests and relations 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 was found dead.
They did not officially link him to the killings of Sydney Land, 21, and Nehemiah “Neo” Kauffman, 20, until months later, according to the Daily Mail.
But Andress-Tobiasson contacted Land’s mother and “began to personally investigate the case” because she thought that Valentine was responsible, the complaint stated.
It added that she used “burner phones” to contact Land’s mother and sent texts to another woman she thought was involved in the murder.
The commission alleged that Andress-Tobiasson stated publicly that she reached out to Valentine’s lawyer at the time and “told him to tell Valentine that if he called her daughter again, she would ‘take care of it herself,’” and that one time she “went to Shane Valentine’s house and kicked in the door.”
Detectives learned of Andress-Tobiasson’s activity, according to the charges, and launched an investigation into the judge, going as far as tracking her phone records.
They also alleged that she had links to a man called “Anthony Danna” who was a “known and documented organized crime figure.”
Andress-Tobiasson lived 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 are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.