Anonymous officials tell the AP they are looking at whether Bill Sparkman, the Census worker found dead in rural Kentucky in September with the word “fed” written on his chest, may have committed suicide.
The wire service reports that investigators have recently “grown more skeptical that 51-year-old Bill Sparkman died at the hands of someone angry at the federal government.” It continues:
The officials said investigators continue to look closely at suicide as a possible cause of Sparkman’s death for a number of reasons. There were no defensive wounds on Sparkman’s body, and while his hands were bound with duct-tape, they were still somewhat mobile, suggesting he could have manipulated the rope, the officials said.
And Jerry Weaver, who found Sparkman’s body in Daniel Boone National Forest, told the AP he is convinced the death was a homicide:
Weaver told The Associated Press this week that he recalled Sparkman’s hands being close together.
Weaver also said the rope, which he described as thin like a clothes line, was wrapped around the high branches of two different trees as if for leverage. Sparkman’s truck was found nearby, and Weaver said he saw Sparkman’s clothes in the bed of the truck and a census worker placard sitting on the dashboard.
Weaver had previously told the AP that the body was naked, bound at the feet and hands, and gagged.
Sparkman’s son said in September that his father could not have committed suicide. “He didn’t do this to himself. That’s dishonorable,” Josh Sparkman said.
Kentucky police recently complained that speculation that Sparkman was killed in an act of anti-government violence had hindered their investigation. The state police told the AP the investigation is ongoing, and no determination has been made as to cause of death.