CAYCE, SC (WIS) - A recording released by Lexington County 911 details how a doctor, who had already been arrested in connection with one man’s death, reacted the day he found his wife dead in her bedroom in May 2018.
WIS filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the more than 5-minute 911 call made by Dr. Adam Lazzarini on May 1 when he found his wife, Vanessa Biery, dead in their Hunters Mill Drive home.
"Morning - I just saw my wife and she's dead," Lazzarini said.
"I'm sorry?" the dispatcher asks.
“I just saw my wife and she’s dead,” Lazzarini replies.
After Lazzarini identifies himself during the call made at 6:48 a.m. on May 1, he goes into further detail about the state in which he found his wife. He tells the dispatcher that he had just woken up after sleeping in another bedroom, went into their bedroom and found her face-down in the bed. The couple’s daughter was also in the bed with her, Lazzarini told the dispatcher.
Police were on the scene by 7:02 a.m., documents said. The dispatcher asked Lazzarini if he knew how she died.
"I have no idea - I found her face down," Lazzarini said. "She had been drinking last night. I have no idea."
He also told the dispatcher that the last time he saw his wife was the night before between 11 a.m. and midnight. After asking if her death was expected by the dispatcher, Lazzarini said: “Hell no, my wife is in her 40s.”
"I can't believe this, oh my God," Lazzarini said. "I have a 6-year-old. Oh, my God."
Before the call ended, the dispatcher instructed Lazzarini to not disturb the scene and that law enforcement was on the way.
The Lexington County Coroner's Office released the autopsy findings in January, stating that Biery, 43, died of an undetermined cause.
“The autopsy and toxicologic analysis did not reveal any findings of such significance that they could have definitively caused Mrs. Biery’s death,” Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said. “Due to the undetermined cause of death, the manner of Mrs. Biery’s death is also undetermined.”
The Cayce Department of Public Safety had previously called Biery’s death “suspicious.” When asked after her autopsy results were released on Jan. 23, Cayce DPS said: "This is still an ongoing and active investigation. If the result of this investigation leads our Department to any finding of probable cause, appropriate charges will be made at that time. The Cayce Department of Public Safety does not make statements during ongoing investigations.”
On the same day Biery’s autopsy results were released, Lazzarini’s attorney, Jack Swirling, said that: “Dr. Lazzarini has suffered greatly over the last year since his wife died. This cloud has been hanging over his head during this period of time waiting for the autopsy results. The report from the coroner shows what we said all along that there was no fault at all on Dr. Lazzarini. There’s no connection between Dr. Lazzarini and his wife’s death. That’s a welcomed result. This also shows despite that it had been suggested, there is no connection between his wife’s death and Mr. Holland’s death. Early on it was suggested that her death was suspicious. It’s not suspicious. It is a natural cause.”
Biery was found dead in the same Hunters Mill Drive home as William Player Holland, who was shot and killed in October 2017. Holland was shot by Lazzarini, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter in that incident.
Swerling said the independent forensic pathologist they hired found that the wife died from heart disease and liver problems. Lazzarini’s legal team had previously not given the results of their private autopsy’s findings when asked by WIS New 10.
Swerling said Lazzarini is still in the area and waiting to deal with the Holland case. He said it is progressing along and no trial date has been set. The attorneys have the discovery and are doing their investigation into the case.
Holland’s family has since filed suit against Lazzarini, citing gross negligence on his part in Holland’s death.