Parents of U.S. software engineer found dead in Singapore quit inquest saying the police evidence is fake and they do not trust the country’s legal process

Read Time:5 Minute, 6 Second

  • 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

By  Daily Mail Reporter

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.’



kBrothers: Shane Todd was one of four boys and is  grieving family want to know the truth about his death

Warning signs: Todd became increasingly paranoid during his last couple weeks in Singapore Warning signs: Todd became increasingly paranoid during his last couple weeks in Singapore

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.

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Categories: Health Technology News

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