The Associated Press has obtained some additional details on this case that are featured below. However, many questions still need to be answered in this case. Though this area of rural Kentucky is rife with meth-addicts and a rampant drug culture, was Sparkman actually the victim of an anti-government crusader? Was this act committed by a single person or a group of individuals?
Again, where were Sparkman’s superiors? Why did a family visiting a cemetery first encounter this body rather than Sparkman’s fellow Census Bureau employees? What data was left behind in Sparkman’s computer?
H/t to Roger Alford and Jeffrey McMurray of the AP for the following:
Family cemetery visit led to hanged census worker
BIG CREEK, Ky. — A family’s visit to a rural Kentucky cemetery led to the shocking discovery of a part-time census worker’s naked body hanging from a tree with the word “fed” written on his chest.
Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, told The Associated Press the man had been gagged and his hands and feet were bound with duct tape.
Weaver said Friday he was certain from the gruesome scene that 51-year-old Bill Sparkman was killed deliberately.
“He was murdered,” Weaver said. “There’s no doubt.”
Weaver said he was in rural Clay County, Ky., for a family reunion and was visiting some family graves at the cemetery on Sept. 12 along with his wife and daughter when they saw the body.
“The only thing he had on was a pair of socks,” Weaver said. “And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.”
Two people briefed on the investigation said various details of Weaver’s account matched the details of the crime scene, though both people said they were not informed who found the body. The two spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.
Authorities have said a preliminary cause of death was asphyxiation, pending a full medical examination. According to a Kentucky State Police statement, the body was hanging from a tree with a rope around the neck, yet it was in contact with the ground.
“And they even had duct tape around his neck,” Weaver said. “And they had like his identification tag on his neck. They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder.”
Both of the people briefed on the investigation confirmed that Sparkman’s Census Bureau ID was found taped to his head and shoulder area. Weaver said he couldn’t tell if the tag was a Census ID because he didn’t get close enough to read it. He could see writing on Sparkman’s chest, but could not read that it said “fed.”
Authorities have said the word was scrawled with a felt-tip pen.
Weaver, who works for a family topsoil business in Fairfield, said the body was about 50 yards from a 2003 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. He said Sparkman’s clothes were in the bed of the truck.
“His tailgate was down,” Weaver said. “I thought he could have been killed somewhere else and brought there and hanged up for display, or they actually could have killed him right there. It was a bad, bad scene.