The FBI and California Department of Justice announced Monday that they will monitor the investigation of Robert Fuller’s death.
In the span of a few days, both Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch were found hanging from trees in Southern California cities about 50 miles apart.
There must be full and immediate investigations into their deaths. pic.twitter.com/KsF16dxpaO
— African American Policy Forum (@AAPolicyForum) June 13, 2020
“It is in our interest to make sure we leave no rock unturned,” said Los Angeles county sheriff Alex Villanueva in a news conference obtained by the Guardian. Fuller’s death was ruled a suicide after he was found hanging from a tree near the Palmdale, California, city hall on June 10. (RELATED: Body Of Black Man Found Hanging From Tree In California In Apparent Suicide)
The FBI and DOJ announced that they will be reviewing the death of Fuller as well as the hanging death of Malcolm Harsh, which happened 10 days earlier in San Bernardino, California, according to CNN.
Harsh was found hanging from a tree in front of the Victorville public library on May 31 in San Bernardino, per the Guardian. Harsh had supposedly been living at a nearby homeless encampment, when camp residents cut him down and attempted to assist him when first responders arrived. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office did not recover evidence to suggest foul play, according to the Guardian.
“Our department has been in contact with the California Department of Justice and the FBI and our intent is to be able to share information and details so they can compare also to the Palmdale incident,” said San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Jodi Miller to CNN.
The county medical examiner has deferred the decision to label the deaths as a suicide despite preliminary findings, per the Guardian. “We felt better that we should look into it a little bit more carefully and deeply, just considering all the circumstances at play,” said Chief County Medical Examiner Jonathan Lucas to the Guardian.
Los Angeles County Homicide Capt. Kent Wegener told CNN that only the rope, the contents of Fuller’s pockets, and a backpack he was wearing was found at the scene of Fuller’s death. Officials are investigating Fuller’s medical history, analyzing his phone and looking for surveillance video in the area, according to CNN.
Both cases are waiting for a toxicology report and further investigation. “My brother was not suicidal,” Fuller’s sister, Diamond Alexander, told a crowd at a rally in Palmdale on Saturday, per the Guardian, “My brother was a survivor.”