LOS ANGELES --A knife found on O.J. Simpson's old property is being tested by the Los Angeles Police Department, officials confirmed Friday. However, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said that the preliminary assessment is that this is not the knife. It's likely the real murder weapon was bigger, possibly "exotic". They are still testing the knife however to make sure.
Capt. Andrew Neiman said the police department became aware of the item within the last month. It was allegedly recovered by a citizen at the property possibly around the time the site was demolished, which was in 1998.
Authorities would not describe the condition of the knife nor the type, but said it was not a machete.
Neiman said the knife was found by a construction worker at the site and given to a now retired LAPD motorcycle officer who was working an off-duty movie job. He retired from the force in the late 90s, according to the LAPD, and it is unclear whether the officer was retired or still with the police department when he was given the knife.
The retired officer held onto the knife until recently and then handed it over to investigators.
"I was really surprised. I would think that an LAPD officer - if this story is accurate as we're being told - would know that any time you come into contact with evidence that you should and shall submit that to investigators," Neiman said. "I don't know what the circumstances are or why that didn't happen or if that's entirely accurate or if this whole story is possibly bogus from the get-go."
The name of the officer will not be released, Neiman said. The police department has also asked for the citizen who turned over the knife to contact them.
The item has been submitted to a lab to be studied for forensics and DNA samples, Neiman said.
It is unclear if the knife is connected in any way to the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Neiman said double jeopardy would be in place for Simpson.
Simpson, a former football player, was acquitted of murder charges in the 1994 stabbings of his ex-wife and her friend. He is currently imprisoned in Nevada for a 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping conviction.
Goldman's public relations firm, Garson & Wright Public Relations, Inc., released the following statement from Fred and Kim Goldman:
"Until the LAPD completes its investigation of the recovered knife, the validity of the knife as it relates to Ron and Nicole's murder is purely speculative. It is not a shock to our family that stories like this are making headlines again. Being a victim/survivor is an ongoing process for all those impacted. We cannot validate every claim with a discussion, as it only creates more unnecessary hype and encourages the media circus. "
The Associated Press contributed to this report.