Police investigating the death of former Department of Homeland Security official Philip Haney announced Wednesday that initial reports suggesting he died by suicide were "misinformation."
What are the details?
Haney, 66, who became a whistleblower on his own agency during the Obama administration, was found deceased in his vehicle on Friday at a park-and-ride area less than three miles from where he was living, roughly 40 miles east of Sacramento, California.
According to Fox News, the Amador County Sheriff's Office said in its initial press release on Haney's death that he "appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound" and that "a firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle."
In a new press release issued Wednesday, the Amador County Sheriff's Office stated:
Unfortunately, there was misinformation immediately put out that we have determined Mr. Haney's death to be a suicide. This is not the case. We are currently in the beginning phase of our investigation and any final determination as to the cause and manner of Mr. Haney's death would be extremely premature and inappropriate.
The release from Wednesday reiterated that the investigation into Mr. Haney's death is active and ongoing. The sheriff's office has reached out to the FBI to assist in processing evidence and has scheduled an autopsy to be conducted by forensic pathologists from the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.
Mr. Haney testified to Congress in 2016 that the DHS under then-President Barack Obama had instructed him to delete the files of hundreds of individuals linked to Islamic terrorist groups and argued that several U.S. domestic terror attacks could have been prevented if the files had not been destroyed.
Immediately upon the news of Haney's death, several pundits and media outlets questioned the reports that the whistleblower had committed suicide.
The Washington Examiner spoke to several individuals close to Haney, who told the outlet that the former official was in talks to return to the DHS and that he was engaged to be married. Haney himself told the outlet in November that he was planning to write a sequel to his first book, "See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government's Submission to Jihad."