Wednesday, Nov 25th, 2009
Via: Washington Post:
The Census Bureau employee found dead in September killed himself and staged his death to look like a homicide, state and federal law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
William E. Sparkman Jr. died of asphyxiation and was found with hands, feet and mouth bound with duct tape, a rope around his neck and the word “FED” written on his chest, investigators concluded. Passersby spotted his body on Sept. 12 in a remote area of the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Witnesses said Sparkman had discussed ending his own life, recent federal investigations of public officials in Kentucky and negative perceptions of federal agencies expressed by Clay County, Ky. residents, investigators said.
Sparkman also secured two life insurance policies that would not pay out for suicide shortly before his death, investigators said. Authorities decided to share some, but not all of the details of their investigation on Tuesday due to the high level of national interest.
Sparkman was a substitute teacher and one of 5,900 part-time Census field workers that conduct the annual American Community Survey and dozens of other government surveys each year. Such workers are typically called in by the Census Bureau for assignments as needed. The agency said it will hire roughly 700,000 temporary workers to conduct follow-up interviews for next year’s decennial Census.
Normal census operations will resume in Clay County next month, Census spokesman Stephen Buckner said.
“The death of our co-worker, William Sparkman, was a tragedy and remains a loss for the Census Bureau family,” Buckner said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Gilbert Acciardo, a former state trooper who worked with Sparkman at an after-school day-care program, said that Sparkman gave him no clues that he was contemplating suicide. Sparkman had been treated for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but told Acciardo that it was under control. Nevertheless, he said he was confident in the results of the investigation.
This article was posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 6:06 am