Witnesses told police that Carol Gotbaum was "teary" during her flight from New York to Phoenix, according to new documents released by the Phoenix Police Department. Another witness says the mother of three, who was traveling to Tucson for alcohol rehabilitation, may have also ordered an alcoholic drink during the flight.

Carol Gotbaum became upset when she missed her connection to Tucson, yelling and throwing things, and the Phoenix police took her into custody. She was later found dead in her holding cell, from apparent self-strangulation, possibly during an attempt to escape her shackles. Questions have been raised about whether the police acted properly in dealing with her, and the Gotbaum family, which includes her stepmother-in-law Betsy, NYC's Public Advocate, has hired a lawyer and investigator to probe the circumstances of her death and criticized the police during her funeral.

Two hundred pages of documents were released by the Phoenix police, and some of the details include:

  • When told of his wife's death, Noah Gotbaum said, "They killed her, they killed her."
  • A passenger on the NY-to-Phoenix flight said, "Ms. Gotbaum said that someone would have come with her, but it was her decision to do it on her own."
  • A flight attendant says she served Gotbaum a Bloody Mary in the plane's galley, but another passenger says she didn't see Gotbaum drink.
  • Servers at a Phoenix Airport restaurant where it was believed Gotbaum may have had a drink do not remember serving her.
  • Betsy Gotbaum asked the Phoenix police to use Carol Gotbaum's maiden name "so as to insulate her and her family from media coverage."

Betsy Gotbaum had no comment. The Phoenix police believes the documents show "the police did what they had to do."