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Officials: Census Worker Bound His Hands, Feet and Mouth with Duct Tape, Wrote “Fed” on His Chest and Hung Himself

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.

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