RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) _ An associate of Dr. Jack Kevorkian is under investigation in the death of a 54-year-old woman who had been suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Rio Rancho police said Wednesday that evidence relating to the woman's death has been recovered from Dr. Georges Reding's home near Galesburg, Mich.

Police also found numerous files and documents, including apparent medical records for patients from across the country.

Authorities said no charges have been filed against the 74-year-old Reding. A 1963 New Mexico law prohibits assisted suicide, which is a fourth-degree felony punishable by 18 months in prison.

``There are a lot of circumstances to investigate,'' Sandoval County District Attorney Mike Runnels said Wednesday. ``There will be charges filed if there's an indication that we have a crime committed here.''

Reding was arrested last year with Kevorkian when the pair dropped off a body at a suburban Detroit hospital. Reding was found innocent of charges he interfered with police and resisted arrest.

Kevorkian was sentenced last month to 10 to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder in the nationally televised injection death last September of Thomas Youk, a Lou Gehrig's disease patient.

According to toxicology reports, Donna Brennan died Aug. 30, 1998 in Rio Rancho of an overdose of pentobarbitol, a toxic chemical that has been known to cause death.

Ms. Brennan had apparently suffered much of her adult life from multiple sclerosis, an often-crippling nerve disease.

Authorities first believed the woman died of natural causes. But her family contacted Rio Rancho police shortly after her death and asked for an investigation.

Attorney Michael Schwartz, who has defended both Reding and Kevorkian, said Reding was being harassed by authorities.

``Now that they've gotten Dr. Kevorkian, they've decided they're going to go after his colleague.''