Alleged SLAC Vandal Is Missing

I don't want to distract anyone from national meeting news, but I thought I'd update on the vandalism at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory: Jason Greene of the Palo Alto Daily News reported late on Friday that Silvya Oommachen, the former SLAC research associate who is accused of thawing several thousand protein crystals, has disappeared. After her last court appearance on July 28, Oommachen was released on bail and was supposed to check in with the court daily. She hasn't done so and a warrant was issued on Aug. 6 for her arrest. The Federal Bureau of Investigation hasn't responded to e-mail and phone messages asking if they're doing anything in particular to try to track down Oommachen. If I hear anything else, I'll update! Updates: 2/1/2010 Oommachen was rearrested at a hotel in November. In December, a judge put off setting a date for her trial until January so she could undergo a psychological evaluation. Last week, her attorney asked for a hearing to determine whether Oommachen is mentally competent to stand trial. 2/8/2010 Oommachen was apparently diagnosed with a mental illness sometime before her arrest last July, had stopped taking her medication, and has now agreed to resume doing so. After 30 days, her attorney will reevaluate whether she thinks Oommachen is mentally competent. 3/26/2010 Judge Jeffrey White has ruled that Oommachen is not mentally competent to stand trial and ordered her into treatment for the next four months.

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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