- Shane Todd, an American working on an 18-month assignment in Singapore, was found hanged in his apartment in June 2012
- Dr Todd was researching new technology that could be used by the military
- His family believe he was murdered over his research project
- Authorities in Singapore say he committed suicide
PUBLISHED: 00:00 EST, 1 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:00 EST, 22 May 2013
Rick and Mary Todd, the parents of an American software engineer Shane Todd – who was found hanged in his apartment in Singapore in June 2012, said on Wednesday they were withdrawing for the country’s inquest into their son’s death.
The Todds do not believe their son committed suicide and want a thorough investigation into the circumstances of Shane’s death but say they have no confidence in the city-state’s legal process.
They believe he may have been murdered over his research into material used to make heat-resistant semiconductors, a technology with both civilian and military applications.
Enough: Rick and Mary Todd believe their son was murdered last year in Singapore. They withdrew from the inquest on Wednesday, saying they have no confidence in the city-state’s legal process
Tragic: Shane Todd, a high-tech researcher, was found hanged in his apartment in Singapore in June 2012. His parents believe he was murdered due to the sensitive research he was involved in
The body of 31-year-old Shane Truman Todd’s was found in his Singapore apartment by his girlfriend Shirly Sarmiento, a Filipino nurse, on June 24, 2012.
Police have said he killed himself.
The engineer was found hanging after he had reportedly been unhappy at work and had written suicide notes before he died, authorities have said.
Police found no signs of forced entry into the apartment and he had no visible signs of injury on his body except redness on his forearms and legs.
But police did find links to suicide websites on his laptop and suicide letters written to Todd’s family members and loved ones.
Close: Mary and Rick Todd, center, are mourning the death of their son Shane (back right, pictured with brothers John, back left, Dylan, front right, Chet and his wife Corynne , front left)
Shirly Sarmiento had earlier told the inquest that he suffered from depression and that he had mounting unhappiness with the ‘dishonest environment’ in his workplace.
She also mentioned he feared ‘heavy hands coming after him.’
His parents Rick and Mary Todd have said they consider the evidence presented by police to be fake.
Rick Todd said his son in early 2012 had expressed concerns to his parents that he was being asked to compromise U.S. security. But he said Shane Todd wasn’t specific.
Mary Todd also said the alleged suicide note was obviously fake because it thanked the Institute of Microelectronics, the former employer he had grown to hate, and had other false details.
Family: Shane Todd’s brothers John (left), Dylan (second from left), Chet (second from right) and his sister-in-law Corynne (right) had traveled to Singapore this May to attend the inquest
Witness: Shane’s girlfriend Shirley Sarmiento (center on May 14 with the Todd family) testified at the inquest into the 31-year-old death
On Tuesday, a key witness in the ongoing inquest withdrew his initial claims that Todd was strangled. The state, meanwhile, introduced a witness who contradicts the parents’ claim that their son was killed before June 23.
The parents, who traveled to Singapore from their home in Montana, issued a statement Wednesday saying they will no longer participate in the inquest and will return to the U.S.
‘We have been told that the coroner’s inquiry is not adversarial, rather it is a fact-finding mission with the sole purpose of getting to the truth,’ the statement said.
‘This has not been our experience. We no longer have confidence in the transparency in the findings of the system. It appears to us that the outcome has already been predetermined.’
The parents, who had been expected to testify at the inquest, also have said the crime scene at their son’s apartment was compromised, with key computer evidence mishandled.
The FBI, however, has supported Singapore police claims that a hard drive found at Todd’s apartment was handled by Singapore authorities who were checking for evidence, and not by an unknown person.
‘We were looking forward to an honest and transparent court proceeding,’ the parents’ statement said. ‘Sadly, this has not been the case. Therefore, we have decided that our presence in Singapore will have no bearing on the outcome of this case.’
Warning: Shane Todd’s father Rick said his son had become fearful for his safety due to the sensitive technological research he was engaged in
Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said the government regrets the family’s decision to leave the inquiry.
‘For reasons best known to them, they walked out and it’s unfortunate that they decided to leave,’ Shanmugam told a news conference.
‘The family had said previously that they had found the hard drive themselves, and they asserted that this hard drive had been processed by a third party,’ he said.
‘It would have been useful to hear the family’s side as to how they had come to a different view of the facts.’
Gloria James-Civetta, a lawyer for the Todds, said the family would leave Singapore this week, but she would not comment on what their intentions were.
While Singapore authorities insist there was no evidence of foul play in Todd’s death, the parents maintain he was murdered over his work researching semiconductor technology in a secretive project involving the Institute of Microelectronics and Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329042/Parents-U-S-software-engineer-dead-Singapore-quit-inquest-saying-dont-trust-countrys-legal-process.html#ixzz2U6NDJg2p Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook