"Within the last month LAPD became aware of an item that was allegedly recovered by a citizen from the Rockingham property during the demolition of the site," Captain Andrew Neiman said during a press conference on Friday. "We need to vet that, we still don't know if that's an accurate account."
Neiman said that the knife was obtained from a retired LAPD motor officer who had allegedly received the weapon from a construction worker while working in off-duty on a movie set near Simpson's former estate.
"The investigators will continue to look at this," Neiman said of the knife. "That item has been recovered by robbery homicide investigators. It is being treated as we would all evidence. It has been submitted to our lab. They are going to study it and examine if for all forensics, including serology and DNA and hair samples."
Mark J. Terrill / AP; Inset: Getty
Added Neiman, "I was really surprised. I would think that an LAPD officer – if this story is accurate as we're being told – would know that anytime you come into contact with evidence, you should and shall submit that." He noted that the legal chain of possession of the knife could be "bogus from the get-go" but that it is being investigated, regardless.
The retired police officer's name is not being released, and there are currently no administrative charges filed against him. The LAPD is still working to identify the construction worker.
"We first of all need to determine, is this evidence? And if it's not, how do we prove one way or another if it's not. And the only way we can do that is being able to challenge the people that were involved," Neiman said. The LAPD further declined to provide exact dates or specific details about the knife.
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Simpson cannot be re-tried for the 1994 murders of Simpson and Goldman, but Neiman said the case remains open.
Despite numerous searches, investigators never found the weapon used to kill Simpson and Goldman.
"Unless there's an actual arrest or conviction, to prove that we have actually closed the case, the cases remain open," he explained. "That is where we are with the Nicole Brown case. This is a double homicide that is still open and ongoing."
He added, "There will be plenty of additional investigation, I don't know where that will lead our investigators."
TMZ first reported on the discovery of the knife early Friday, and said it was originally found somewhere between 1998 and "several years ago."
Simpson was living at the estate in question when the murders occurred. He was evicted from the home in 1997, and it was demolished by the new owner the next year, Los Angeles Times reported at the time.
The infamous case is the subject of current and popular FX series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.