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December 14, 2005
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Richard Pryor sent letter to sheriff before his death

The Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind.- Just a week before his death, Richard Pryor and his wife sent a letter to an Indiana county sheriff expressing outrage about an animal cruelty case.

They sent the letter after learning that a St. Joseph County police officer, Curt Seufert, was placed on administrative leave last month while state police investigated whether he killed his girlfriend's dog. The Pryors' letter called the reported circumstances shocking.

"We respectfully ask you to not let this be 'swept under the rug,'" read the letter, signed by the groundbreaking comedian and his wife, Jennifer.

Pryor died Saturday of a heart attack. He was 65.

Sheriff Frank Canarecci said a police report indicated Seufert and his girlfriend, Jennifer L. Radican, 27, a corporal with the South Bend Police Department, had argued on Nov. 25. The next day, Radican returned home to find one of her two dogs dead in the basement.

The internal investigation is ongoing, and no decision has yet been made, according to Canarecci. A message left at Seufert's home by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

Jennifer Pryor confirmed Tuesday to the South Bend Tribune that the couple sent the letter to the sheriff.

"We were so disturbed by that," she said. "Richard and I have always had a strong affinity for animals."

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