The father of professional golfer Erica Blasberg, who was found dead in her home near Las Vegas, said his daughter did not kill herself. Mel Blasberg is backing off an earlier statement in which he suggested suicide was a possibility.
Mel Blasberg told TMZ on Tuesday that he visited Erica at her home in Henderson, Nevada last Thursday, and spoke with her on the phone the following day. Blasberg said each time, she was "very upbeat."
He said Erica was excited to play in a tournament in Alabama this week. He said she had already packed her golf bag in her car for the drive to the airport Saturday morning. But Erica never made her flight.
Blasberg said a friend discovered the 25-year-old woman in her bed on Sunday.
This contradicts what Blasberg told the Riverside Press-Enterprise on Monday, when he said, "At first glance, it looks like she might have taken her own life, but at second glance, something is very, very strange about it. We're waiting for the police to make an investigation."
The cause of death has not been released, pending toxicology reports.
Erica's agent, Chase Callahan, released a statement about the tragic death:
"We are devastated to learn of the passing of Erica Blasberg. To most of the world, Erica was known as a professional golfer, but she was more than that. She was a loving daughter to her parents and a compassionate and loyal friend. Erica had a good heart, was extremely kind and very thankful for what she had in her life."
Meantime, TMZ reports that several tributes to Erica are already in the works:
The first tribute will take place at the Bell Micro LPGA Classic in Mobile, Alabama-- where Erica was scheduled to compete this week. We're told everyone in the tourney will don purple ribbons in honor of Erica.
Members of the women's golf team at the University of Arizona -- where Erica went to school -- will be wearing black ribbons at the National Championship Tournament in North Carolina later this month.
We've also learned Blasberg will be honored by the Vanderbilt University team -- where her former coach Greg Allen is now in charge. We're told Allen and his players will wear a patch bearing Blasberg's nickname, "Skip."